Standards, regulation and sustainable development in a global value chain driven world

Raphael Kaplinsky, Mike Morris
DOI number
#Environment and climate change
#Sustainability standards

Regulations and standards have become an increasingly important factor affecting the capacity of producers to participate in global markets. Directly and indirectly, they not only determine the terms of market-entry but also affect the extent to which different producers are able to position themselves in global value chains in a manner which provides for socially and environmentally sustainable income growth. Standards compliance can enhance producer capabilities and assist in meeting many of the SDG objectives. But it may also involve trade-offs between different SDG goals. Standards compliance is simultaneously inclusive (facilitating the participation of low and middle income countries producers in global production and spreading incomes more widely globally) and exclusive (barring small producers from market access and displacing unskilled labour from supply chains). What policy measures will best lead to the most positive outcomes as standards diffuse through global value chains?


Mike Morris

University of Cape Town

Raphael Kaplinsky

Open University

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