Suppliers’ Access to Voluntary Sustainability Standards
39 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 2017
Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) have long become a usual attribute of international production and trade. Despite the fact that VSS are not legally binding, in order to be a part of global value chains, they have become de facto mandatory, and non-compliance may lead to exclusion of producers from the value chains. The relevance of VSS is reflected by a growing literature across social sciences, in particular economics and political science. This paper describes a new database that collects comparable information on 180 standards and their governance structure, across a wide range of products and countries. We conduct a first empirical analysis of this data with a primary focus on two aspects of standards and their governance: their practices and features in support of producers, and their geographic availability. We find high variability of support and availability across standards systems and countries respectively. Finally, we identify standards- and country-specific features associated with higher support to producers and higher geographic availability.
Keywords: Standards, voluntary sustainability standards, sustainable development, SME, Global Value Chains, Certification.
JEL Classification: F13, L15, O10, Q01
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation