Standards and Agricultural Trade in Asia
ADBI Discussion Paper No. 107
34 Pages Posted: 19 May 2009
Date Written: May 2008
The markets for agri-food products are changing at a pace that is unparalleled in modern history. Markets are increasingly open and also increasingly homogenized toward international tastes and requirements for levels of quality, packaging, safety, and even process attributes such as socially or environmentally friendly methods. New distribution channels, dominated by larger firms, including supermarket retailers, are imposing high performance demands on their value chains. In order to respond to these increasing demands, developing countries are facing an inexorable shift toward more industrialized models of farming systems. This shift presents new challenges for small and medium farmers' access to markets and their ability to compete. The question for many countries-and not just developing countries-is what options are there for small farmers, which still comprise the great majority of the world's agricultural producers? The key for many is to understand and learn how to collectively achieve new levels of standards.
Keywords: Standards, agriculture, competition, value chains, developing countries, small farmer, environment, cooperatives
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