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Fair trade or foul: using value chain analysis to understand power and governance in the Southern African Devil’s Claw industry

Fair trade or foul: using value chain analysis to understand power and governance in the Southern African Devil’s Claw industry

Bennett, Ben (2006) Fair trade or foul: using value chain analysis to understand power and governance in the Southern African Devil’s Claw industry. Project Report. Regional Trade Facilitation Programme / Natural Resources Institute, London, UK.

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Abstract

Devil's Claw is the name given to a wild-harvested plant found in certain areas of southern Africa which has anti-inflammatory properties of particular benefit to the elderly (for example in the treatment of arthritis). It has been estimated that there are approximately 10,000 gatherers of Devil's Claw in southern Africa who are also among the poorest and most vulnerable of its communities. Furthermore, a value chain has formed over time which seems to have resulted not only in significantly reduced terms of trade for the gatherers but also environmental degradation as a result of over harvesting.

In 2003 a group of government and non-state representatives formed the Devil's Range State Working Group (DRSWG) comprising representatives from the Kalahari eco-zone: Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe and RTFP is now working with them to promote improved livelihoods for the gatherers through enhancements in the value chain for their product.

This paper is a feasibility study, which was carried out and which identified what causes low prices at the level of the harvester and what might be done to promote a value chain which is more equitable. A secondary objective of the feasibility study was to better understand how the power and governance of value chains limits the potential benefits of regional and international trade integration.

Initial conclusions were that value chains should be upgraded and traceability systems introduced through 'stewardship' contracts entered into between regional exporters, traders, permit issuing authorities and harvesters. The enforcement of sustainable harvesting on a rotational basis will also be important and it may be necessary to agree a limit on the supply if the region's harvesters are to have any influence on the buyers.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Devil's Claw, South Africa, trade, feasibility study
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 13 May 2014 12:17
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/3159

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