Voluntary Sustainability Standards and Value Chain Governance: How sustainability standards affect the distribution of decision-making power in global value chains
Sustainability standards affect decision-making processes in global value chains by appropriating and redistributing power to set, implement and verify compliance with the terms of chain participation. Standards have the potential to give commodity producers a more prominent role in supply chain decision-making by inviting their direct participation in organizational governance. However, standards can also reinforce formal and informal governance practices that exclude producers, many of whom already experience economic marginalization. This paper aims to assess the potential and actual impacts of select voluntary sustainability standards on decision-making within global value chains in the coffee, forestry and fisheries sectors. It is one of a pair of papers prepared for the ENTWINED research consortium, which addresses the supply chain impacts of voluntary sustainability standards.