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Partnering for Change in Chains: the Capacity of Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Change in Global Agrifood Chains

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  • Bitzer, Verena

Abstract

Intersectoral partnerships mirror the changing nature of the relationships among state, business and civil society organizations, and are often considered innovative mechanisms to overcome single actor failure in the context of globalization. This article analyzes the capacity of partnerships to promote sustainable change in global agrifood chains from a governance and a development perspective. The global coffee, cotton, and cocoa chains serve as main fields of application. From a governance perspective, the emergence of partnerships is largely positive inasmuch as partnerships act as initiators and agents of change which, although still mostly confined to niche markets, unfolds a chain-wide governance effect. From a development perspective, partnerships can be viewed critically as their top-down and business-driven nature leads to uncertain benefits for producers and results in the marginalization of certain development concerns. These differing conclusions can be explained by the fact that partnerships largely embody the neoliberal agenda, which raises specific questions, particularly from a development perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • Bitzer, Verena, 2012. "Partnering for Change in Chains: the Capacity of Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Change in Global Agrifood Chains," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-25, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ifaamr:142277
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/142277/files/20120049.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dentoni, Domenico & Ross, R. Brent, 2013. "Towards a Theory of Managing Wicked Problems through Multi-Stakeholder Engagements: Evidence from the Agribusiness Sector," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-10, August.
    2. Hidayat, Kurniawati Nia & Glasbergen, Pieter & Offermans, Astrid, 2015. "Sustainability Certification and Palm Oil Smallholders’ Livelihood: A Comparison between Scheme Smallholders and Independent Smallholders in Indonesia," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 0(Issue 3), pages 1-24, September.
    3. Schouten, Greetje & Bitzer, Verena, 2015. "The emergence of Southern standards in agricultural value chains: A new trend in sustainability governance?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 175-184.
    4. J. Dara Bloom, 2014. "Civil Society in Hybrid Governance: Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Legitimacy in Mediating Wal-Mart’s Local Produce Supply Chains in Honduras," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(10), pages 1-24, October.

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