Sustainability standards in global agrifood supply chains

Rural scene in Ethiopia. Photo by Oliver Kirui (ZEF)

September 03, 2021.  

Sustainability standards in global agrifood supply chains


Abstract: Agrifood supply chains contribute to many environmental and social problems. Sustainability standards—rules that supply chain actors may follow to demonstrate their commitment to social equity and/or environmental protection—aim to mitigate such problems. We provide a narrative review of the effects of many distinct sustainability standards on different supply chain actors spanning multiple crops. Furthermore, we discuss five emerging questions—causality, exclusion, compliance and monitoring, excess supply and emerging country markets—and identify directions for future research. We find that, while sus- tainability standards can help improve the sustainability of production processes in certain situations, they are insufficient to ensure food system sustainability at scale, nor do they advance equity objectives in agrifood supply chains.

Nature Food, 1–8: Sustainability standards in global agrifood supply chains | Nature Food.
Authors: Meemken, E.-M., Barrett, C. B., Michelson, H. C., Qaim, M., Reardon, T., & Sellare, J. (2021). Sustainability standards in global agrifood supply chains.

You can also download the paper here.


Jorge Sellare

Dr. Jorge Sellare


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