Private market standards are playing an increasing role in determining access to export markets for small-scale farmers. Producers who cannot meet the standards are facing marginalisation. The emergence of international standards as requirements for entry to some segments of the export market is of interest for a number of reasons. The market dictates its requirements in terms of volume and timing, and the producer will often have no choice but to comply, regardless of the level of risk or cost to them. On the other hand, compliance brings a number of benefits along the supply chain, in terms of improved producer health, environmental issues, conditions for workers etc. But such costs and benefits often remain unquantified and are generally not taken into account in price negotiations between buyers and producers.
Tackling the exclusion of smallholders from fresh produce markets: a personal view (FP19.pdf)