A Comparative Analysis of Certification Schemes in the Brazilian Fruit Sector
Certification has become increasingly relevant as a marketing signal for agribusiness especially in the fruit sector over the past few years. Substantial parts of many value chains are by now certified by standards as GlobalGAP, Fair Trade, Integrated Fruit Production and Organic. At the same time, in developed countries, particularly in the European Union and the United States, demand for higher levels of food safety has led to the implementation of certification programs that address more types of safety-related attributes and impose stricter standards. Certification systems play an important role in any market that is burdened with a high degree of information asymmetry and quality uncertainty. Thus, producers and exporters of fresh fruit and vegetables from developing countries like Brazil are increasingly required to demonstrate the safety and traceability of their produce up to the consumption stage. The comparative analysis of the four certification schemes which exist in the fruit sector in Brazil has shown that GlobalGAP and the Integrated Fruit Production (PIF) are similar certification schemes. However, they differ with respect to the number of requirements and their distribution over various stages (e.g. production, post-harvesting). Contrary to PIF and GlobalGAP, Fairtrade certification concentrates on producers’ organizations and cooperatives where small-scale farmers belong to and not on individual farmers. In addition, a lot of attention is paid to the labour and environmental conditions, besides the guarantee of a minimum price for farmers. With respect to organic certification, the requirements are not directed to a particular product or crop and their level of compliance is not indicated. Major emphasis is put on the production system. Organic and Fairtrade certification do not have an own book keeping for records.
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