Social Standards in Certification of Agri-Food Products

Lara Liboni, Julio Kyosen Nakatani, Luciana Oranges Cezarino


The objective was to know the detailing level of social standards in third-party Agri-food certifiers. An exploratory qualitative analysis was conducted using secondary data collected from certifiers of Agri-food products. The results showed that most certifications did not address consumers’ values regarding social sustainability. Certifiers should deep efforts in describing social welfare standards to communicate with consumers clearly. This would improve the certification image, increase the perceived products value, address consumer demands, and achieve social sustainability in labor relationships along the entire supply chain.

Full Text:



Ahumada, O., & Villalobos, J. R. (2009). Application of planning models in the agri-food supply chain: A review. European Journal of Operational Research, 196, 1-20.

Blumenthal, B., & Haspelagh, P. (1994). Toward a definition of corporate transformations. Sloan Management Review, 35(3), 101-106.

Buck, D., Getz, C., & Guthman, J. (1997). From farm to table: the organic vegetable commodity chain of northern California. Sociologia Ruralis, 37, 3-20.

Brasil. (2011). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento. Assessoria de Gestão Estratégica. Projeções do agronegócio. Retrieved from . Access in: 27 november 2011.

Bryant, R. L., & Goodman, M. K. (2004). Consuming narratives: The Political Ecology of “alternative consumption”. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 29, 344-366.

Carter, A. (1999). Integrating quality, environment, health and safety systems with customers and contractors. Greener Management International, 28, 59-68.

Carr, J. T. (1991). Reward right behavior. Journal for Quality and Participation, 68-70.

Dass, P., & Parker, B. (1999). Strategies for Managing human resource diversity: From resistance to learning. Academy of Management Executive, 13(2), 68-80, 1999.

Dering, N. (1998). Leadership in quality organizations. Journal of Quality and Participation, 21, 32-35.

Getz, C., & Shreck, A. (2006). What organic and fair trade labels do not tell us: toward a place-based understanding of certification. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 30(5), 490-501.

Giovannucci, D., & Ponte, S. (2005). Standards as a new form of social contract? Sustainability initiatives in the coffee industry. Food Policy, 30, 284-301.

Grant, R. M., Shani, R., & Krishnan, R. (1994). TQM’s challenge to management theory and practice. Sloan Management Review, 35(2), 25-35.

Harris, S. M. (2007). Does sustainability sell? Market responses to sustainability certification. Management of Environmental Quality, 18, 50-60.

Hart, S., Arnold, M., & Day, R. (2000). The business of sustainable forestry: Meshing operations whit strategic purpose. Interfaces, 30(3), 234-250.

Hatanaka, M., Bain, C., & Busch, L. (2005). Third-party certification in the global agri-food system. Food Policy, 30(9), 354-369.

Higgins, V., Dobden, J., & Cocklin, C. (2008). Building alternative agri-food networks: Certification, embeddedness and agri-environmental governance. Journal of Rural Studies, 24, 15-27.

Ilbery, B., Morris, C., Buller, H., Maye, D., & Kneafsey, M. (2005). Product, process and place: an examination of marketing and labeling schemes in Europe and North America. European Urban and Regional Studies, 12(2), 116-132.

Johnson, D., & Walck, C. (2004). Integrating Sustainability into Corporate Management Systems. Journal of Forestry, 32-39.

Jones, C. (1992). Developing a total quality strategy. Management Services, 36(3), 22-26.

Juscheter, W. M., Fisher, C., & Alford, R. J. (1998). Five conditions for high- performance cultures. Training and Development, 52(5), 63-67.

Malhotra, N. K. (2006). Marketing research: an applied approach (3rd ed.). London: Prentice Hall.

Morgan, K., Marsden, T., & Murdoch, J. (2006). Worlds of Food: Place, Power and Provenance in the Food Chain. London: Oxford University Press.

Mutersbaugh, T., Klooster, D., Renard, M., & Taylor, P. (2005). Certifying rural spaces: quality-certified products and rural governance. Journal of Rural Studies, 21, 381-388.

Sonnino, R., & Marsden, T. (2006). Beyond the divide: rethinking relationships between alternative and conventional food networds in Europe. Journal of Economic Geography, 6, 181-199.

Van Der Grijp, N. M., Marsden, T., & Cavalcanti, J. S. B. (2005). European retailers as agents of change toward sustainability: The case of fruit production in Brazil. Environmental Sciences, 2, 31-46.

Turk A. M. (2009).o The benefits associated with ISO 14001 certification for construction firms: Turkish case. Journal of Cleaner Production, 17(5), 559-569.


Copyright (c)

Journal of Management Research ISSN 1941-899X


Copyright © Macrothink Institute


To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.