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From commoditisation to de-commoditisation ... and back again: Discussing the role of sustainability standards for agricultural products

Daviron B., Vagneron I.. 2011. Development Policy Review, 29 (1) : p. 91-113.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7679.2011.00515.x

Sustainability standards are flooding global agricultural markets. Standards, however, are not new. This article analyses, from a historical perspective, the implications of the transition from traditional to sustainability standards in the commoditisation/de-commoditisation process. It shows how early standards contributed to the construction of the category of primary commodities and how, after a short attempt at decommoditisation (with the early fair-trade and organic standards), sustainability standards are tending towards re-commoditisation.

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