Principal Investigator: Anne Marie Tallontire. Lead Organisation: University of Greenwich
Co-investigators: Valerie Nelson; Adrienne Mary Martin
Suppliers in agri-food chains are required to comply with an ever-growing set of standards to secure market access. Many standards are ‘voluntary’ and have been developed and overseen by organisations from the private sector, sometimes working with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to promote food safety and quality, good agricultural practice and labour standards. This project is concerned with private standards initiatives (PSIs) developing and monitoring these standards particularly those in developing countries.
Focusing on agri-food chains originating in Kenya, the aim is to explore what these standards and initiatives mean for 'governance' or the exercise of power. It explores what PSIs mean for regulation, how sustainable they are and how accessible and effective they may be for poor farmers and workers.
The project will develop a conceptual framework for the analysis of PSIs drawing on value chain analysis and approaches to regulation. The field work will involve in-depth qualitative study of selected Kenyan PSIs and their stakeholders using semi-structured interviews, focus groups and workshops with NGOs, government officials, horticulture firms, workers and smallholder farmers as well as European retailers and standards institutions.