Private Standards and Global Governance

Private Standards and Global Governance

Economic, Legal and Political Perspectives

Leuven Global Governance series

Edited by Axel Marx, Miet Maertens, Johan Swinnen and Jan Wouters

The expert contributors assess the state-of-the-art with regard to private regulation of food, natural resources and labor conditions. They begin with an introduction to, and discussion of, several leading existing private standards, and go on to assess private food standards and their legitimacy and effectiveness in the context of the global trade regime.

Chapter 7: Globalization, Private Standards and Poverty: Evidence from Senegal

L. Colen, M. Maertens and J. Swinnen

Subjects: development studies, development studies, law - academic, regulation and governance


Liesbeth Colen, Miet Maertens and Johan Swinnen 1. INTRODUCTION The integration of developing countries in global trade and foreign investments in developing economies have been advocated as important engines for growth and poverty reduction (Dollar and Kraay, 2004; Irwin and Tervio, 2002; Klein et al., 2001). In particular, the enhancement of trade and investment in high-value agri-food supply chains is argued to benefit the poor because of the high surplus created, the direct link the sector has with the rural economy (where poverty rates are often much higher than in urban areas), and because of the intensive use of unskilled labor in the sector (Aksoy and Beghin, 2005; Anderson and Martin, 2005; Carter et al., 1996; World Bank, 2008). The globalization of high-value supply chains and the integration of developing countries in global trade have been accompanied by the increasing importance of public and private standards concerning food safety and food quality. These have largely shaped the structure of today’s global supply chains and have important implications for the different actors in the chain (Swinnen, 2007). The EU imposes a number of requirements regarding food safety and quality and, in addition, a large number of private standards have become important in global agri-food trade (Jaffee and Henson, 2005). Modern retail chains and multinational processing companies play an important role in the development of these standards and in the organization of modern high-value supply chains. Some papers claim that these changes are detrimental to global poverty reduction (Farina...

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