Governance Implications of Private Standards Initiatives in Agri-Food Chains

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: School of Earth and Environment

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.
 
Description Focusing on fresh vegetables and cut flowers from Kenya, the project explored what private standards and initiatives mean for 'governance' or the exercise of power. It explored the power relations amongst different groups participating in or excluded from Private Standards Initiatives (PSIs) with a view to identifying which actors were most powerful and how roles were changing. The powerful role of retailers and exporters in PSIs has been highlighted, but also how new actors such as donors, NGOs (international and national), researchers and auditors have played a role in shaping these initiatives. We showed how smallholders and workers have been effectively excluded from the debates and how NGOs that seek to speak for smallholders and workers have also been constrained. The dominant narratives of retailers have shaped views of potential solutions, whilst local priorities and alternative narratives have been sidelined or remain unarticulated. Our fieldwork in Kenya demonstrated the limited ability of PSIs to instigate transformative change. There have been some improvements in how labour rights and good agricultural practices standards have been implemented and some changes to standards and audits, but transformational change has been absent.
Sectors Agriculture/ Food and Drink

 
Description Manchester uni presentation: Exploring the Politics of Private Standards in Kenyan High Value Horticulture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact sparked questions and discussions afterwards, and helped cement further academic collaborations

Invited to undertake PhD examination and be external examiner for masters programmes
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Powerful participants and sidelined stakeholders : exploring private standards Initiatives in a global value chain 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation at seminar at Aston University as part of the ESRC 'Collaborative Governance' Seminar Series

engaged with policy analysts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
URL http://www.download.bham.ac.uk/govsoc/pdfs/anne-tallontire-prviate-standards-initiatives-global-valu...
 
Description Procurement for Development presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sparked discussion with practitioners about our on-going work and has enabled on-going discussions

Some of the participants,e.g. in the Ethical Trading Initiative were happy to endorse a subsequent impact grant application
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
URL http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/research/eedp/research_events/view/-/id/1205
 
Description Validation workshop in Nairobi 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact We convened this workshop in Nairobi to validate and disseminate our findings amongst export horticulture and floriculture industry and policy makers in Nairobi. This was useful to establish linkages for further work and encouraged national level experts to think about how they engaged with others further down the supply chain, as well as enhancing understanding of changing practices by international buyers.

We exchanged a number of emails with participants after the event and they were supportive of further work on the topic
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description What do retailers want 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I participated in this workshop organised by a network of international NGOs led by Women Working Worldwide and gave a Powerpoint presentation (12-14 April 2011). My presentation raised some interesting challenges regarding the focii of some NGOs' work in relation to labour rights standards, highlighting how some actions fed into commercial rather than social agendas.

This activity consolidated my active working relationship with the NGO Women Working Worldwide who subsequently partnered with me in an Impact grant application and an invitation for my masters students to work as interns in the organisation. And I maintain an active exchange of information with this network of NGOs especially those in East Africa
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011