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Abstract

The significance of standards in international agricultural trade is continuously rising. Due to their complexity, especially private industry standards are often expected to have a negative impact on agricultural export sectors in developing countries. The successful adoption of standards by a broad number of producers can be seen as a condition to limit negative socioeconomic consequences. This case study for the mango export sector in Piura, Peru, analyzes the adoption of the Eurepgap standard, based on a theoretical framework of a compliance process of three stages (information stage, decision stage, implementation stage). The empirical part is based on interviews with farmers. A comparison between certified producers and a control group identifies the mechanisms that lead to an adoption of the standard. A first major barrier to adoption is the access to information on the standard. Exporting enterprises are the most important source of information. Analysis at the decision stage shows that vertical integration is the most important factor in the adoption of the standard. A contemplation of the implementation stage shows that the costs of compliance are at 9.51 US$/ton on average or 3.8% of the product price. Factors that influence the costs of compliance are the starting point, the target level and the involvement of exporter enterprises. Consequently, the activities of exporter enterprises can be identified as the key factor for the adoption of the standard in the sector. Furthermore, the standard involves the risk of exclusion of certain producer groups.

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