Research on the voluntary standards within global production networks shows a divergence between the argument that voluntary standards can effect positive economic and social change for local producers and the argument that they are a neoliberal tool that furthers the interests of powerful corporate actors. This study proceeds with an empirical examination to clarify the particular implications of voluntary standards for local producers within the certi-fied pineapple value chain in Ghana. The study undertakes an investigation of local produc-ers’ relationship with the governance structure(s) present, the position of the voluntary stand-ards therein, the institutional mechanism(s) that enable or hinder value chain development, and the implications of these for local producers. Literature reviewed covered extant dis-course on the subject, as well as an integration of the Global Value Chain Governance and the Institutional Analysis and Design frameworks. The research adopts a qualitative research technique and employs semi-structured interviews for primary data. It leverages insights from leading actors to conduct an empirical analysis and present credible insights. The re-search findings reveal that for the certified pineapple value chain, voluntary standards poten-tially effect positive outcomes for local producers. However, they are currently embedded within a captive governance system, characterized by insufficient market access, presence of an institutional void; restricted economic upgrading and a deficient social upgrading mecha-nism.

Voluntary Standards, Ghana, Pineapple Sector, Global Value Chain Governance, Institutional Analysis, Local producers
Knorringa, Peter
Agrarian and Environmental Studies (AES)
International Institute of Social Studies

Agbeko, Josephine. (2020, December 18). Left behind: implications of voluntary standards for local producers in the pineapple value chain in Ghana. Agrarian and Environmental Studies (AES). Retrieved from