Standards as Barriers and Catalysts for Trade and Poverty Reduction

The importance of food standards in global agricultural trade has increased strongly, but the effects are uncertain. Several studies argue that these standards imposed by high-income countries diminish the export opportunities for developing countries and concentrate the benefits of trade with processing and retailing companies and large farms, thereby casting doubt on the development impact of international agricultural trade. Other argue that the standards can be catalysts for growth. In this paper we critically review the arguments and empirical evidence on the link between increasing food standards, developing country exports and welfare in those countries. We conclude that the evidence is often weaker as claimed. We also provide new insights from two recent survey-based empirical studies. We conclude that standards can be a catalyst for trade, growth and poverty reduction in developing countries.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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