The Criminogenic Nature of Food Production Harm Responses: A Case Study of Anaerobic Digestion Technology Subsidies in Northern Ireland
Meat production in its current shape is burdened with multiple environmental challenges. Technological solutions have been touted as a means of reconciliation of economic growth and environmental sustainability. In Northern Ireland, anaerobic digestion (AD) technology was presented as a solution for more sustainable animal waste management and greenhouse gas emission reduction in the context of the Going for Growth (GfG) agrifood strategy. AD sites were also eligible for the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) subsidy support scheme. While criminological engagement with the issues around food crime is yet inchoate, even less attention has been paid to the issue of the criminogenic nature of responses to food production harm. The paper fills this lacuna by discussing how an ostensibly positive initiative of incentivising AD through subsidy provision may have criminogenic potential: it may exacerbate environmental harm due to its ineffectiveness for dealing with ammonia emissions from animal waste, and create opportunities for deviance, such as breaches in planning regulation and subsidy fraud.
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