Accepted paper:

Private standards, trade and poverty: GlobalGAP and horticultural employment in Senegal


Liesbeth Colen (KU Leuven)

Paper short abstract:

Using original panel data from surveys among workers and companies in Senegal’s horticulture export industry in Senegal, we analyze how GlobalGAP certification of exporter-producer companies affects employment conditions. Certification is associated with higher wages and longer employment periods.

Paper long abstract:

There is a growing body of literature that analyzes the implications of private food standards for developing countries. Most of this literature has focused on the trade effects of standards and on the effects for exporters and producers. Very few studies have looked at the effect of standards for workers in export supply chains - although this is especially important for poverty reduction. This paper analyzes the effects of private standards in horticulture export supply chains on the largest group of people affected: those participating as wage laborers. We focus on the effects of GlobalGAP certification, which is the most important private standard in African horticulture exports. We combine information from exporter interviews, secondary export statistics and a panel of household survey data from the main horticulture export zone in Senegal, Les Niayes. Using cross-section and panel data analysis, we estimate the effects of GlobalGAP certification of exporter-producer companies on the employment conditions of workers in these companies. We find that GlobalGAP certification creates important benefits for workers in the form of higher wages and longer employment periods, while contract security is not found to be better in certified companies. We put forward different explanations for the mechanism through which these effects on employment conditions could emerge, of which improved competitiveness of certified firms and the increased need for worker training are argued to be the most important ones.

panel P050
Agricultural export production, wage employment and certification schemes