Ecological & Social Certification Systems
Over recent years we have seen the rise of a growing number of certification and labeling initiatives that seek to enhance environmental and social sustainability. This project analyzes the expansion of these private regulatory efforts in key commodity areas like coffee, bananas, and flowers as well as emerging arenas like tourism and carbon markets.
Our research analyzes the governance structures, environmental and social standards, and market positions of competing certification initiatives. We argue that certifications that seek to raise ecological and social expectations are likely to be increasingly challenged by those that seek to simply uphold current standards. The vulnerability of these initiatives to market pressures highlights the need for private regulation to work in tandem with public regulation in enhancing social and environmental sustainability.
CFAT Personnel: Laura Raynolds, Douglas Murray, & Michael Long
Funding: Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority (DDA)
- Elizabeth Bennett “Fairtrade International Governance.” Pp. 80-101 in L. Raynolds & E. Bennett (eds.) Handbook of Research on Fair Trade. Northampton MA: Edward Elgar, 2015.
- Linton, April and Claudia Rosty “The US Market and Fair Trade Certified.” Pp. 333-354 in L. Raynolds & E. Bennett (eds.) Handbook of Research on Fair Trade. Northampton MA: Edward Elgar, 2015.
- Raynolds, Laura T., Michael Long, & Douglas Murray “Regulating Corporate Responsibility in the American Market: A Comparative Analysis of Voluntary Certifications.” Competition & Change 18 (2): 89-108, 2014.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “Fair Trade: Social Regulation in Global Food Markets.” Journal of Rural Studies. 28 (3): 276–287, 2012.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “The Organic Agro-Export Boom in the Dominican Republic: Maintaining Tradition or Fostering Transformation?” Latin American Research Review. 43 (1): 161-184, 2008.
- Raynolds, Laura T., Douglas Murray and Andrew Heller. “Regulating Sustainability in the Coffee Sector: A Comparative Analysis of Third-Party Environmental and Social Certification Initiatives.” Agriculture and Human Values 24: 147-163, 2007.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “Organic and Fair Trade Movements in Global Food Networks.” Pp.49-62 in S. Barrientos & C. Dolan (eds) Ethical Sourcing in the Global Food System. London: Earthscan, 2006.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “The Organic and Fair Trade Movements: Fostering Global Ecological Sustainability and Social Justice.” The Optimist Magazine, Geneva: Green Cross International, Autumn 2006.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “Re-Embedding Global Agriculture: The International Organic and Fair Trade Movements.” Agriculture and Human Values 17:297-309, 2000.
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