Signaling Southern sustainability: When do actors use private or public regulatory authority to market tropical commodities?

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Resum

The private regulation of agri-food value chains through sustainability standards has proliferated in recent decades, promising producers to differentiate themselves and gain preferential market access. However, in a number of producing countries, laws exist that mirror and go beyond what private labels demand. These countries have two options for placing their sustainable products in the market: signal their national system's equivalence to private schemes, or utilize the existing regulatory framework as favorable preconditions for widespread certification. In framing this choice as a collective reputation challenge, this study analyzes under which conditions states and parastatal actors opt for either approach, provides evidence of the strategies used, and draws conclusions on their respective success and on-the-ground outcomes. Using an in-depth comparative case study of the coffee sectors of Costa Rica and Colombia, the study finds that the divergence in institutional strategies can be explained by three factors: sector-specific institutional capacities; a country's place in the commodity marketplace, which determines the expected added pay-off of certification; and a country's overall international image.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’article112053
RevistaJournal of Environmental Management
Volum285
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de maig 2021
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