Fresh Perspectives Issue 29. Private voluntary standards: Placing small-scale growers on a different footing.
Private voluntary standards (PVS) are invariably designed to both assure and appeal to customers (people who buy) and consumers (people who eat) farm produce (these are not necessarily the same people) in industrialised countries. Small Scale Growers (SSGs) who grow the produce are obliged to comply with these standards if they trade internationally with customers who demand standards compliance. These private standards are agenda driven; they address the concerns of particular organisations. When the farm is local to the customer/consumer the farmer may at least understand the issues and choose which standards to support. However, when trade is international, particularly when sourcing from developing nations, the issues and concerns of developed country customers/consumers can literally be a world away and are often seen with some confusion at local levels. This paper aims to offer a new perspective on how to value SSG attributes for final consumers.
International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK, 2 pp.