How New Agrifood Standards are Affecting Trade
TRADE - WHAT IF? NEW CHALLENGES IN EXPORT DEVELOPMENT, ITC, ed., pp. 99-114, World Export Development Forum, Geneva Switzerland, 2008
14 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2009 Last revised: 4 Jun 2012
Date Written: October 1, 2008
This paper, for the 2008 World Export Development Forum, considers the emerging importance of standards and offers a brief overview of the main public-private standards that increasingly govern trade in agrifood products. Their dynamic and rapidly evolving nature, particularly for ecolabels, poses substantial challenges for producers and even for consumers. In developing countries their requirements and benefits can be anything but straightforward for many producers. Yet, the challenges in turn offer considerable opportunities for establishing a more workable system for achieving sustainability that features: increasing harmonization to facilitate transactions and to reduce compliance costs; better impact assessment and knowledge sharing to improve effectiveness and farmer adoption; and somewhat greater roles for the public sector to help ensure a certain level of transparency and equity in the system.
Keywords: export, standards, trade, sustainability, agriculture, food, ecolabel, harmonization, compliance costs, impact assessment, developing country
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