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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 381872
Title EurepGAP certification for small producers
Author(s) Valk, O.M.C. van der
Source [S.l.] : S.n. - 8
Department(s) LEI MARKT & K - Duurzame Handel en Ketenvorming
Publication type Research report
Publication year 2006
Keyword(s) marketing - landbouwproductie - marketing voor de detailhandel - particuliere landbouwbedrijven - kleine landbouwbedrijven - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - certificering - europese unie - wereld - agricultural production - retail marketing - private farms - small farms - farm management - certification - european union - world
Categories Agricultural Marketing
Abstract The majority of agriculture practitioners worldwide are smallholders. Compliance with market related standards, such as set by EurepGAP, is crucial for obtaining and maintaining international market access, particularly to the European Union. Private standards must allow for innovative and cost efficient certification systems to avoid that small growers get marginalized from national and international economy, especially in developing countries. For farmer group certification under EurepGAP standards, lessons can be learned from the ample experience with small holders groups certification regarding social (e.g. fair trade) and environmental (e.g. organic / IFOAM) standards. Cases studies reflect that elements determining the viability and sustainability of group certification include the social cohesion of the group, professional capacity. Market related factors, important for smallholders’ access even if compliance with standards is not an issue, determine successful participation in international market chains including minimal economy of scale to decrease costs, minimal internal coordination to guarantee compliance with transactions and even quality, as well as international communication, marketing and general business skills. One of the problems identified with private standards certification is that the benefits of certification are too uncertain or intangible when compared with the immediate and real financial costs. Moreover, EurepGAP certification is a B2B certification for main stream markets, not addressing specific niche market which would give added value to suppliers. EurepGAP certification for small growers is not limited to option 2 only. Importers and retailers ascribe more commercial risks of non compliance to option 2, tending to prefer working with option 1 suppliers. Small holders can be certified under option 1 by participating in outgrowers’ schemes. The producer cedes all autonomy over the production process, contributing with land as only input in a leasing scheme, and providing the necessary labour. Outgrowers’ schemes tend to be more efficient commercially, as no investments on group cohesion and decision making processes are required. Professional capacity tends to be more easily available, administrative systems easier to set up and operate. From a social viewpoint however, market access does not change power balances in the supply chain nor the distribution of added value, while opportunities for learning lest to fully participate in the international economy are less.
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