This paper examines the high value chains (HVC) for green bean exports from Africa to identify the critical points at which exporters exercise great caution in preventing produce contamination with pathogens and pesticide residues. It then examines the control points that pose greatest threat to continued participation of smallholder farmers in the HVC and discusses the strategies African countries have used to maintain smallholder farmers in the green bean HVC. The paper identifies six critical control points. Among these, smallholders are most threatened with exclusion from HVC at two control points. At those points the farmer must make costly lumpy investments to meet the standards. To overcome the likelihood of smallholders being excluded from HVC at these points study countries have used non market institutions namely collective action and public-private partnerships. These findings imply that the market itself could adopt solutions that exclude smallholder farmers at these most challenging critical control points.