The Interplay of Public and Private Standards: Literature Review Series on the Impacts of Private Standards, Part III
54 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2012
Date Written: January 1, 2012
The question on how public and private standards interact constitutes relatively new research terrain and has received limited attention. This particularly applies to social and environmental standards where the majority of research focuses on the interplay of private and public forestry standards. Interdependencies between public and private food safety and quality standards have been more closely analyzed, though only in the past decade or so. Overall, there is a multitude of competing public and private standards that are rarely harmonized, and sometimes complement, but often duplicate each other. Many regulatory functions are performed by public and private actors creating a situation that is inefficient when it comes to achieving policy goals. Yet again, it is small producers that are hit most by the current situation of a ‘dysfunctional interplay’ of public and private standards. Urgent measures need to be taken to create more complementarities and harmonization among private standards and between private and public standards. This approach would address the root of the problem (multitude of standards) instead of trying to treat the symptoms (exporters’ exclusion from international trade).
Keywords: Private Standards, Regulation, Harmonization, Standardization, Certification, Bibliographies
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