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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 525144
Title Certify sustainable retailers?
Author(s) Bush, S.R.
Source In: Sustainable Food Futures / Duncan, Jessica, Bailey, Megan, Earthscan/Routledge (Routledge Studies in Food, Society and the Environment ) - ISBN 9781315463117 - p. 133 - 144.
Department(s) Environmental Policy
Publication type Peer reviewed book chapter
Publication year 2017
Abstract Third-party eco-certification has received considerable attention by academics and practitioners alike as a new mode of sustainability governance. But there is growing evidence that certification faces a number of limits when applied to producers in developing countries, in particular the weak capabilities of small-holder producers to comply with the standards set out by these certification schemes. When these producers make up between 70% and 80% of the estimated 117 million fish farmers worldwide (Bondad-Reantaso & Subasinghe, 2013; Valderrma, Hishamunda, & Zhou, 2010), we can question how certification can meet its own goals of transforming industries towards sustainability. This chapter extends current debates over the capability of producers to comply with standards by arguing for an alternative certification arrangement. Instead of continuing with the current model of certification that places the ‘burden of proof’ for sustainability on producers, I propose a new form of retail-targeted certification that reverses this burden of proof. Under such a model, it is not small-holders who have to demonstrate sustainability, but instead the buyers and retailers who receive a disproportionate benefit from the marketing and trade of their fish. A retailer certification scheme would reverse this burden of proof by giving recognition and market reward to retailers adopting ‘developmental’ forms of value-chain coordination that foster inclusive and effective support for improving the production practices of small-holders. Such a model might be relevant for any globally traded commodity sector involving small-holder producers in need of (but unable to independently make) improvements towards sustainability.
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