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Organic, fair and social: Cooperation between ethical standards systems in agriculture

Spoor, BSc Gijs (2002) Organic, fair and social: Cooperation between ethical standards systems in agriculture. Thesis, Wageningen University, Law and Public Administration. . [Unpublished]

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Summary

In this report a comparison is made between three voluntary standardisation systems in agriculture. The organic agriculture system, the fair trade system and the social accountability system have all been developed by non-governmental organisations to promote production, trade and consumption based on ecological and social principles, and all involve monitoring, certification, labelling and codes of conduct. Context of this research is a two-year collaboration project, started in May 2001, between the Fair Trade Labelling Organisation (FLO), the International Federation of Organic Movements (IFOAM) and Social Accountability International (SAI), focusing on developing guidelines for social auditing.
Standards are discussed as part of a new model of global governance and a processes of innovation by associations effectively intervening in the global market to produce public goods at a time when mainstream policy is dominated by neo-liberalism.
The report starts with a problem definition leading to a number of research questions: why is this subject so important and what do we need to find out? Chapter two provides an introduction to the economic and institutional context in which the ethical standardisation systems evolved and which shapes their functioning. First two basic processes are identified, namely the internationalisation of trade and environmental problems and the domination of neo-liberal ideology and the changing balance of power in societies world-wide. Then, the two phenomena which form the basis of ethical labelling will be discussed, namely standardisation and civil society. In chapter three the three labelling systems are introduced with regards to their structure and role in society. In chapter 4 an inventarisation of the differences and similarities in their functioning is given. In chapter 5 an analysis is made of the potential for co-operation and the obstacles are reviewed. The last chapter offers a reflection on the research and suggestions for further work.


EPrint Type:Thesis
Thesis Type:M.Sc. thesis
Keywords:fair trade, social auditing, development, innovation, standards, law
Subjects: Farming Systems > Social aspects
Values, standards and certification
Research affiliation: Netherlands > Wageningen University and Research Centre WUR
Deposited By: Spoor, BSc Gijs
ID Code:404
Deposited On:30 Jan 2003
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:27
Document Language:English
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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