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Facing the challenge: Applying codes of practice in the smallholder sector

Facing the challenge: Applying codes of practice in the smallholder sector

Chan, Man-Kwun (2002) Facing the challenge: Applying codes of practice in the smallholder sector. Working Paper. Natural Resources Institute, Chatham, UK.

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Facing the Challenge: Applying Codes of Practice in the Smallholder Sector was the third in a series of workshops organised by the Ethical Trade and Export Horticulture Research Project of the Natural Resources and Ethical Trade Programme (NRET). The Project was set up nearly 4 years ago, with the primary aim of making codes of practice more effective. In the last couple of years, the Project has focused on developing practical tools for implementing codes of practice, aiming to combine real social and environmental benefits with cost-effectiveness. In the process of carrying out our research, it became clear that key industry stakeholders were concerned that smaller farms - in particular family-run smallholdings - would find it much more difficult to comply with codes compared to large- scale commercial operators. Buyers are often already sceptical about the ability of smallholders to meet quality and food safety standards. If buyers and exporters see social and environmental standards as a further obstacle to supplying from smallholders, there is a risk that exporters will opt not to supply from smallholders at all. In response to this challenge, over the last year the Project has been carrying out fieldwork in Ghana and Zimbabwe to address the following questions: a) To what extent are social and environmental standards currently being met on African smallholder farms producing for export? Can these standards ever be met? b) What are the management implications and recommendations for improving compliance? c) How do you conduct an audit on small/medium scale farms, where there are few formal management systems and limited record keeping? This workshop was organised to share findings from this fieldwork with key stakeholders, and to explore the implications for future management of codes of practice in the smallholder sector. To add value to the workshop, we also included a presentation on relevant experiences from another ongoing NRET project looking at managing smallholders in the export market. The workshop attracted 40 participants, with representatives from UK and Dutch supermarkets (Albert Heijn and CWS), UK importers, growers and exporters from Ghana, fresh produce trade associations from Ghana, Zimbabwe and UK, DFID, GTZ and a number of NGOs and researchers working/ campaigning on related issues.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: smallholder, ethical trade, fresh produce, Africa, code of practice, standards
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
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Last Modified: 18 Nov 2019 15:44

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