Suppliers’ Access to Voluntary Sustainability Standards

39 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2017

See all articles by Matteo Fiorini

Matteo Fiorini

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Marion Jansen

International Trade Centre

Philip Schleifer

University of Amsterdam - Department of Political Science

Olga Solleder

International Trade Centre (ITC)

Regina Taimasova

International Trade Centre (ITC)

Joseph Wozniak

International Trade Centre (ITC)

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

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

Fiorini, Matteo and Hoekman, Bernard and Jansen, Marion and Schleifer, Philip and Solleder, Olga and Taimasova, Regina and Wozniak, Joseph, Suppliers’ Access to Voluntary Sustainability Standards (March 2017). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2017/18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2940202 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2940202

Matteo Fiorini (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies ( email )

Fiesole, Tuscany
Italy

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Marion Jansen

International Trade Centre ( email )

54-56 Rue de Montbrillant
Geneva
Switzerland

Philip Schleifer

University of Amsterdam - Department of Political Science ( email )

Binnengasthuis
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 237
Amsterdam, 1012 DL
Netherlands

Olga Solleder

International Trade Centre (ITC) ( email )

54-56 Rue de Montbrillant
Geneva
Switzerland

Regina Taimasova

International Trade Centre (ITC) ( email )

54-56 Rue de Montbrillant
Geneva
Switzerland

Joseph Wozniak

International Trade Centre (ITC) ( email )

54-56 Rue de Montbrillant
Geneva
Switzerland

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