Skip navigation

A review of the literature and knowledge of standards and certification systems in agricultural production and farming systems (NRI working paper series on sustainability standards No. 2)

A review of the literature and knowledge of standards and certification systems in agricultural production and farming systems (NRI working paper series on sustainability standards No. 2)

Tallontire, Anne, Nelson, Valerie, Dixon, Jami and Benton, Tim G. (2012) A review of the literature and knowledge of standards and certification systems in agricultural production and farming systems (NRI working paper series on sustainability standards No. 2). [Working Paper]

[img]
Preview
PDF
Doc-0249.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB)

Abstract

In this review we closely follow the terms of reference set by RESOLV, with respect to the standards summarised below in Table 1.2, specifically: organic, GlobalGAP, Fairtrade, the Sustainable Agriculture Network standard (known as SAN, and sometimes referred to as the Rainforest Alliance (RA) standard), and Utz Certified), plus two newer standards – the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) standards. In most of the text the discussion focuses on the first five of these standards according to the availability of literature and the length of time that the standards have been in operation (RTRS only published its standard in June 2010 with its first certification in June 2011; RSPO Principles were agreed in 2005 followed by the criteria and indicators agreed 2007 and the first certification took place in 2008). So in section 1 we focus on the market for certified agricultural products exploring trends in supply and demand including reflections on how consumers and companies influence these trends. In section 2 we begin by discussing the evolving methodologies in use to assess impacts of standards and standards systems. Informed by this methodological understanding, we provide a summary of key findings from a variety of studies on particular standards or groups of standards in agriculture. In section 3 we consider the relative effectiveness of certification systems both in relation to each other and compared to other approaches to improving ‘sustainability performance’. Following this in section 4 we discuss communication of the standards to the public and public awareness of different standards. Here we explore the complex relationship with public regulation and also consider ways other than standards which may facilitate improvements. The concluding section summarises the key findings and presents our analysis of the gaps in knowledge that exist. We propose a research agenda that will enhance our understanding of standards and certification systems operating in agriculture, particularly with respect to how they meet their objectives and broader impacts, intended and unintended.

Item Type: Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: certification, agriculture, production, farming, voluntary standards, private standards, sustainability, organic, conservation, fairtrade
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2015 16:38
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/11620

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics