Skip to main content
Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo
COVID-19 information and updates

Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

Congratulations to Jacob Muirhead for his successful PhD defence!

Oct 01, 2020

Jacob Muirhead has successfully defended his PhD thesis. Congratulations, Jacob! His thesis is entitled “The Potential of Contracting in Global Agri-Food Governance: The Pursuit of Public Interests Through Private Contracts.” It examines the potential of private contracts to increase the sustainable and ethical production and consumption of food. Jacob argues that contracts are more capable of regulating over important issues that are of common concern than they are given credit for. It also argues that commercial contracts have particular features that make them well-suited to regulating long-distance relationships that span the borders of countries and include a variety of different stakeholders. This is noteworthy, because the regulation of long-distance relationships is becoming both more common and important in the world today. To demonstrate these arguments, the dissertation uses data taken from Jacob’s interviews with pineapple farmers and exporting companies in Ghana who produce pineapple for supermarkets in Europe. Jacob also has drawn on his interviews with public regulators in the European Commission, and international organizations, as well as lawyers, academics and private standard-setting bodies in agriculture such as GlobalGAP. Jacob’s committee included Dr. Tony Porter, Dr. Stephen McBride, and Dr. Robert O’Brien. Dr. Judy Fudge’s chairing of the defence and Dr. Graeme Auld’s serving as external examiner are greatly appreciated.