Value chains in the agrifood sector are undergoing a rapid process of modernization, characterized by the emergence of private standards and different systems of vertical value chain governance. In this article we investigate the technological implications of these developments at the farm-level. We explicitly modelled the conditions under which technology transfer and adoption will occur in a value chain setting and reviewed the corresponding evidence on these issues. We find that technology transfer within a value chain can occur in an environment with imperfect credit and technology markets, but depends on the surplus generated by the technology, the holdup opportunities of the supplier and the type of technology. Finally, using these findings we discuss the implications of public investment and the role of private standards as a potential catalyst for technology adoption and transfer.