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Carbon Concerns: How Standards And Labelling Initiatives Must Not Limit Agricultural Trade From Developing Countries

Policy brief by MacGregor, James/ ICTSD, 2010

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The carbon embedded in internationally traded food and agricultural goods – its measurement, as well as different ways of communicating its climate impact – is a rapidly emerging factor in agricultural production, processing and trade. The emerging, mainly non-statutory, private-sector driven carbon labelling schemes raise a number of issues. This paper examines the current status of carbon labelling initiatives in the food industry. It looks at how embedded carbon is likely to be marketed and how this phenomenon may impact agricultural trade from developing countries.

Carbon Concerns:


How Standards And Labelling Initiatives


Must Not Limit Agricultural Trade From


Developing Countries


By James MacGregor
May 2010


Issue Brief No. 3


ICTSD-IPC Platform on Climate Change, Agriculture and Trade




Carbon Concerns:
How Standards And Labelling Initiatives Must Not Limit Agricultural Trade From Developing Countries


By James MacGregor
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)


Carbon Concerns:
How Standards And Labelling
Initiatives Must Not Limit
Agricultural Trade From Developing
Countries


Issue Brief No. 3




Carbon Concerns:
How Standards And Labelling Initiatives Must Not Limit Agricultural Trade From Developing Countries


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Published by


International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
International Environment House 2
7 chemin de Balexert, 1219 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel +41 22 917 8492 Fax +41 22 917 8093
E-mail: ictsd@ictsd.ch
Visit ICTSD’s website at: www.ictsd.org


And


International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC)


1616 P St., NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20036, USA


Tel +1 202 328 5056 Fax +1 202 328 5133


Email: agritrade@agritrade.org


Visit IPC’s website at www.agritrade.org


Charlotte Hebebrand, President/CEO of IPC, and Marie Chamay Peyramayou, Manager of the ICTSD Global
Platform on Climate Change, Trade Policies and Sustainable Energy, are the persons responsible for this initiative.


Acknowledgments:


We are grateful to Alexander Kasterine (International Trade Centre) and Hasit Shah (Fresh Produce Exporters Association of
Kenya) for their review of and comments on the paper.


A draft of this paper was presented at an ICTSD-IPC Dialogue on “Climate Change and International Agricultural Trade
Rules” held in Geneva on 1 October 2009 (http://ictsd.org/i/events/dialogues/56512/). We are thankful to the participants
of this meeting for their comments.


This paper was produced under The ICTSD Global Platform on Climate Change, Trade Policies and Sustainable Energy -
An initiative supported by DANIDA (Denmark); Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland; the Department for International
Development (U.K.); the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway; Oxfam
Novib; and ICTSD’s institutional partners and project supporters such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Netherlands
Directorate-General of Development Cooperation (DGIS), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
(SIDA); and the Inter American Development Bank (IADB).


IPC wishes to thank the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and all of its structural
funders for their generous support.


ICTSD and IPC welcome feedback and comments on this document. These can be forwarded to Marie Chamay Peyramayou,
mchamay@ictsd.ch and/or Christine St Pierre, stpierre@agritrade.org.


Citation: Macgregor J. (2010). Carbon Concerns: How Standards and Labelling Initiatives Must Not Limit Agricultural Trade
from Developing Countries, ICTSD–IPC Platform on Climate Change, Agriculture and Trade, Issue Brief No.3, International
Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Geneva, Switzerland and International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy
Council, Washington DC, USA.


Copyright © ICTSD and IPC, 2010. Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-
profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged.


The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ICTSD and IPC
or the funding institutions.


ISSN 2075-5856




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Contents


ABBReVIAtIons AnD ACRonYMs iv


LIst oF FIGURes, tABLes AnD BoXes v


FoReWoRD vi


eXeCUtIVe sUMMARY vii


IntRoDUCtIon 1


1. IntRoDUCtIon to stAnDARDs 2


1.1 Current Types of Standards 2


1.2 The Reasons for Setting PVS over Food 3


1.3 Current Private Standards to and from the UK 4


2. IMPACt oF stAnDARDs 7


2.1 PVS Experience in Developing Countries 7


3. CARBon stAnDARDs 9


3.1 Who Wants These Standards? 11


3.2 What Might a Carbon Standard Look Like? 12


3.3 Examples of Carbon Standards 13


3.4 Calculating Carbon: Life Cycle Analysis 21


3.5 Other Emerging Standards 22


3.6 Potential for Carbon Standards to Impact on Trade 23


4. KeY ConCLUsIons AnD PoLICY ReCoMMenDAtIons 24


notes 26


ReFeRenCes 29




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ABBReVIAtIons AnD ACRonYMs


B2B business-to-business


B2C business-to-consumer


BSE Bovine spongiform encephalopathy


CO2e CO2 equivalent units


DECC Department for Energy and Climate Change (UK)


DFID Department for International Development (UK)


EC European Commission


EIO-LCA economic input-output life cycle assessment


EU European Union


FFV fresh fruit and vegetable


G gram


GHGs greenhouse gases


GLOBALGAP Global Partnership for Good Agricultural Practice


IIED International Institute for Environment and Development


IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


ISO International Organization for Standardization


Kg kilogram


LCA life cycle assessment


MRV Monitoring, Reporting, Verification


NGO non-governmental organization


NRI Natural Resources Institute


PAS Publically Available Specification


PVS private voluntary standard


UK United Kingdom


US United States of America


W watt




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LIst oF FIGURes, tABLes AnD BoXes


Figure 1. Trends in PVS in Food in the UK 5


Figure 2. Exploring the Sustainable Development Equation 10


Figure 3. The Carbon Trust Label 14


Figure 4. The Innocent Smoothie Label 15


Figure 5. Climatop Label 17


Figure 6. Results from the LCA of Five Asparagus Products at Migros, 2008-9 18


Figure 7. Carbon Assessment of Pack of Eight Vanilla Yoghurts by Casino, 2008 19


Figure 8. Air Freighted Label Used by Tesco and Marks and Spencer 19


Figure 9. An Example of the Bilan CO2 Leclerc Label for Imported Green Beans 20


Figure 10. CooL Label, Korea 20


Table 1. Estimates of Carbon Emission Distribution along the Supply Chain,
for Four Products sold by Tesco, 2009 16


Table 2. Estimates of Carbon Emission Distribution along the Supply Chain,
for Four Types of Potato sold By Tesco, 2009 17


Box 1. GLOBALGAP – Example of a Food Industry Standard 6




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The carbon embedded in internationally traded food and agricultural goods – its measurement,
as well as different ways of communicating its climate impact – is a rapidly emerging factor in
agricultural production, processing and trade. The emerging, mainly non-statutory, private-sector
driven carbon labelling schemes raise a number of issues. They will – by design – alter costs and
benefit-sharing across a wide range of stakeholders, including producers and consumers, the public
and private sector, and developing and developed countries, along all levels of globally-dispersed
value chains. Also, how effective are they likely to be in changing consumption patterns?


Since 2007, there has been a new raft of carbon labelling initiatives mostly developed as private
voluntary standard (PVS) by retailers. The measurement of carbon embedded within individual
products is rapidly becoming more sophisticated – and is certainly costly. Early experiments have
now been largely discredited particularly those which singled out air-freighting of fresh fruits and
flowers as a “carbon hotspot”, identified through airplane stickers. Newer initiatives involve more
sophisticated life cycle analyses to determine a product’s carbon footprint. There is a clear dilemma
however, since it is difficult to define the boundaries of where a life cycle analysis should begin
and end, but simplified schemes are required to render any scheme workable, and costs bearable –
especially for smaller producers.


Technical assistance and support is needed to assist developing country players participate in such
schemes, in particular smallholders. Transparency is needed to allay fears that the schemes are not
just another developed country form of “green protectionism.” Carbon-labelling schemes could
provide developing countries with new market opportunities and niches based on carbon efficiency,
but also run the risk of restricting their market access.


To be effective vis-a-vis consumers, labels must be developed in a transparent manner, and clearly
communicate what greenhouse gas emissions they account for, and which ones they do not.
Moreover, they should specify how they interact with other social and environmental standards,
and how they affect development opportunities in developing countries. At the same time, labels
must also be simple and easy to understand, if they are to be viable.


This paper examines the current status of carbon labelling initiatives in the food industry. It looks at
how embedded carbon is likely to be marketed and how this phenomenon may impact agricultural
trade from developing countries.


The ICTSD-IPC Platform on Climate Change, Agriculture and Trade is pleased to release this
paper trusting that it will contribute to a better understanding of these issues and to an informed
debate and to equitable schemes and regulation.


Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz
Chief Executive, ICTSD


Charlotte Hebebrand,
President /CEO, IPC


FoReWoRD




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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


The existence of standards particularly in food and agricultural produce has expanded rapidly over
the last 20 years. Such standards have not only resulted in improved quality of products, but have
also allowed greater efficiency by helping producers and other agents in the supply chain access
information about what customers want and expect.


These standards can result from public legislation, for example through the EU Food Laws. Or,
where specific legislation is missing, it is common for vocal consumer concerns to be turned into
labels or standards. A raft of carbon labelling initiatives has hit the market since 2007. Most of these
are private voluntary standard (PVS) that are initiated, implemented, and maintained by retailers.


These standards could be expected to benefit many people in developed consumer societies.
Governments would benefit from a widespread carbon standard, which would raise consumer
(voter) awareness of the carbon implications of their purchases. If governments were ever to find
themselves in a position to compel their electorates to emit less carbon in order to comply with
international agreements, the required legislation would be easier to implement if the historic data,
which such a management system would generate, were in place. In addition, consumers may be
more open to such moves if they have already made some movement towards a preference for low
carbon products themselves.


Consumers who express concern over the carbon emissions would also benefit from having
additional information that allows them to make an informed choice. Retailers would be able
to collect the market premium that consumers are willing to pay on low carbon goods, and they
would also have an incentive to create supply chain management systems that address carbon issues
before it becomes a legal requirement. Early adoption of such systems may well produce first-mover
advantage over competitors in the longer-term.


There are a number of difficulties associated with these standards, however. Much of the demand for
carbon standards stems from the fear that producers in developed countries will simply outsource
their production to developing countries that are not burdened with emission caps. There is often
the assumption that imported food and agriculture goods will automatically have a higher carbon
footprint due to greater transport emissions. This assumption can often be inaccurate, however,
as developing countries often rely on less carbon intensive methods of agriculture by using less
fertiliser, mechanisation, and energy for heating. To calculate the true carbon cost of a good, those
setting standards might rely on Life Cycle Analysis to gain a more exact measurement. So far,
however, methods for fully verifying and monitoring carbon emissions are not fully reliable. They
also place an expensive additional burden on producers, who might be expected to pay for this
verification.


The second concern is based on the idea of ‘ecological space’ -- the concept of measuring and
comparing countries’ current or historical greenhouse gas emissions and calculating each country’s
share of the total additional emissions that the planet can sustain without serious disruption to
climate. The relatively low contribution of emissions from developing countries (less than 15
percent of historical carbon emissions) and the fact that they currently emit far less per capita
than developed nations (the poorest are just 2 percent of those in the US) would allow them the
ecological space for non-restrictive economic development. When reducing demand for imports
(particularly in agriculture) from developing countries, we place the burden of reducing emissions
unfairly on to those least responsible for them. This would be contrary to the UN climate change




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convention’s recognition of global inequity in responsibility for dealing with climate change. The
carbon issue needs to be seen in light of the Kyoto Protocol’s identification of clear and differentiated
responsibilities for developed and developing nations.


The third concern is that carbon standards could result in a trade-off between environmental and
development concerns. Agricultural trade and a move away from subsistence style of farming have
been promoted in developing countries for many reasons including boosting incomes, encouraging
investment in infrastructure and education, improving access to export markets, and creating a
source of foreign exchange. Where agricultural development provides high benefits, cutting off
demand for these imports for the sake of environmental concerns comes with a high cost to poverty
reduction and economic and social development goals.


This paper looks at the existing types of carbon standards and makes the following policy
recommendations:


• Carbonfootprintscanplayaroleinreducingcarbondioxideemissionsinthefoodsystems.
Whether this is a problem for developing country exports is unclear.


• Itisimportanttoclarifytherolesofprivatestandardsandpubliclegislationinaddressing
carbon concerns in the food system.


• Itiscriticaltolearnfromsuccessesinthesustainablefoodtradebetweendevelopingcountry
producers and consumers in the developed nations. These successes should be scaled up and
the principles that underlie those successes should be identified and understood.


• Analysisofcarbonemissionsprovidesalensthroughwhichonecananalysebroaderissues
affecting sustainable development in agricultural sectors in developing countries.


• Consumer-facingcarbonlabelsandcarbonprivatevoluntarystandardsareunabletolimit
emissions effectively without appropriately priced environmental externalities.


• Thepotentialforprivatesectorbuyerstoinsistoncontractualreductionsincarbonfora
product harbour the greatest potential for actual carbon reductions in the food system.




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This paper examines the current status of carbon
labelling initiatives in the food industry and what
implications they have for trade with developing
countries.


Since 2007, there
has been a raft of
new carbon labelling
initiatives that aim
to identify carbon
in supply chains of
production.1 This la-


belling, which has largely driven by consumer
nations, is sometimes the result of public
legislation, for example through the EU Food
Laws. These regulations frame this issue of
entry to market for produce from developing
countries. Where specific public legislation
is missing, however, it is common for vocal
consumer concerns to be turned into labels or
standards. In this case, the push is for carbon
labelling largely as a private voluntary standard
(PVS), initiated, implemented, and maintained
by retailers.


Private voluntary standards have in fact become
an economic tool used by businesses to increase
quality and profitability in their supply chains
and to comply with public legislation. PVS are
flexible and can evolve over time; they can often
be adapted to address many issues not envisaged
at their inception. For example, in food supply
chains that link consumers in the developed
world to producers in the developing world,
PVS have been used to ensure Europeans access
to ‘risk-free’ (minimal risk) food. PVS have also
been widely discussed as posing a barrier to
entry for small-scale producers, excluding many
poor farmers from lucrative export markets.
These PVS tend to be enforced, managed, and
verified by other supply chain participants. This
paper looks at how our carbon is likely to be
marketed and how we can expect this to impact
agricultural trade from developing countries.


In order to assess this impact, this paper examines
three major concerns with these initiatives.
The first concern is that carbon-labelling


may not prove to be an effective method of
reducing global carbon emissions. Agriculture
and food production are a key contributor
to global carbon emissions but difficulties in
understanding exactly how emissions should
be included or measured make it hard to judge
different goods fairly, particularly when there is
a deliberate focus on air-miles. This paper aims
to describe how each of these concerns is likely
to arise. Policy recommendations in light of
them are provided.


The second concern is the difficulty in assessing
where emissions reductions take place, who
would benefit from the reduction, and whether
this result would be considered ‘fair’ under the
guidelines for differentiated responsibility laid
down under the Kyoto Protocol/Copenhagen
Accord. This question centres on the notion
of ‘ecological space’ – the idea that each
country should be allotted a share of the total
additional emissions the planet can sustain
without serious disruption to climate, and that
that share should be based on each country’s
current and historical greenhouse gas emissions.
The relatively low contribution of emissions
from developing countries should allow them
the ecological space for non-restrictive econo-
mic development.


The third concern is that these carbon issues
may result in a trade-off between environmental
concerns and economic development oppor-
tunities. Agriculture for export has long been
hailed as an important contribution to economic
and social development and consumers may
substitute away from these imported goods,
which may have high energy or transport inputs,
and instead favour more locally produced goods.
It is unclear how trade-offs between local goods
and global environmental goods can or should
be made, or by whom. This report provides an
introduction to the dominant issues surrounding
the use of PVS to help supply chains seamlessly
link rural farmers in developing countries
with consumers in developed ones. Much of
this paper focuses on the well-researched fresh


IntRoDUCtIon


Since 2007, there has been
a raft of new carbon label-
ling initiatives that aim to
identify carbon in supply
chains of production.1




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fruit and vegetable (FFV) trade between sub-
Saharan Africa and the UK, though it should
be remembered that carbon is emerging as
a communicable consumer-facing issue in a
growing number of countries in Europe and
beyond. This report poses the question: In


light of apparent development and consumer
benefits from this trade, what is the role of PVS
in continuing and upgrading this trade, and can
carbon dioxide emissions be integrated without
risking the local development benefits from
this trade?


1. IntRoDUCtIon to stAnDARDs


Standards that are currently available come in
a number of forms. These can be divided into
two broad categories.


1. Public standards


Private voluntary standards (PVS) are rules that
specify how the production process of a given
product should be managed; the rules also regulate
the nature of the product itself. PVS go beyond
public (legislative) standards in their stringency.
Moreover, PVS are not always created in a
public forum, but rather created by an industry
participant.2 Yet unlike public standards, PVS are
in theory not mandatory for producers and other
players in the supply chain. In reality, however, as
standards have proliferated firms my feel a growing
need to adhere to them as a means to achieve
market access. An example of these B2B standards
are those established by UK supermarkets to
ensure their suppliers meet food safety laws and
satisfy consumer demands for safe (and high-
quality) produce.


These are internalised by businesses complying
with these regulations and largely resolved
business-to-business (B2B), such as between
a manufacturer and retailer. Indeed, many
important disputes about food safety and market
access for developing countries into Europe are
handled under the auspices of EU laws between
nation states, yet these remain largely invisible
to European consumers (Homer, 2009b).


Many of these standards are set by the
International Organization for Standardization
(ISO), based in Geneva. A non-governmental


organisation, the ISO sets worldwide proprietary
industrial and commercial standards, which
often become law, either through treaties,
trade agreements, or individual government-set
national standards.


2. Private standards


Private voluntary standards (PVS) are rules
that specify how the production process of a
given product should be managed; the rules
also regulate the nature of the product itself.
PVS go beyond public (legislative) standards
in their stringency. Moreover, PVS are not
always created in a
public forum, but
rather created by
an industry partici-
pant.3 Yet unlike pub-
lic standards, PVS
are in theory not
mandatory for pro-
ducers and other pla-
yers in the supply
chain. In reality, how-
ever, as standards
have proliferated firms might feel a growing
need to adhere to them as a means to
achieve market access. An example of these
B2B standards are those established by UK
supermarkets to ensure their suppliers meet
food safety laws and satisfy consumer demands
for safe (and high-quality) produce.


A recent example is the private standards
associated with the food system, which have
proliferated since the 1990s. This proliferation


Yet unlike public stan-
dards, PVS are in theory
not mandatory for pro-
ducers and other players in
the supply chain. In reality,
however, as standards have
proliferated firms might
feel a growing need to
adhere to them as a means
to achieve market access.


1.1 Current types of standards




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has its roots in food safety concerns raised by
public authorities in the early 1990s, e.g. BSE.
However, the increase in the number of standards
is not due to food safety concerns alone.


Private voluntary stan-
dards have in fact become
an economic tool used
by businesses to both
increase quality and pro-
fitability in their supply
chains and to comply
with public legislation.
PVS are flexible, evolve
over time, can be used to
help streamline supply


chains, and often adapt to address many issues
not envisaged at their inception. For example,
a combination of public concern and lobbying
by campaigning NGOs saw PVS being used to
deal with perceived problems associated with
economic development, environmental concerns,
and human rights – including labour rights, child
labour, and inclusion of small-scale growers.
Compliance to private voluntary standards is
usually monitored through a local certification
body against benchmarked norms.4


PVS operate at a number of levels: at the small-
scale producer level, to ensure sequencing of
production on multiple small-scale farms and to
streamline costs of aggregation of product5; and
at the consumer level, to ensure UK retailers’
shelves are stocked with specific products year-
round.6 These are business-to-business7 or
consumer-facing labels.8 PVS evolve over time,9
with some becoming harmonised10 and some
remaining individual (and not harmonized)
retailer-led.11


Standards, particularly private standards,12
have greatly expanded in recent years as the
gap between consumer concerns and public
legislation has widened.13 Standards vary from
international and collective (e.g., the Global
Food Safety Initiative, GLOBALGAP), to
national (e.g., the British Retail Consortium
Global Standard), to company-owned (e.g.,
Tesco’s Nature’s Choice, Carrefour’s Filière
Qualité). They can be business-to-business
schemes (B2B) or customer-facing schemes
in the sense that they offer visual assurance
through the use of labelling and act as a point
of difference or unique selling point (B2C) (e.g.
Fairtrade, Organic).14


Private voluntary stan-
dards have in fact
become an economic
tool used by businesses
to both increase quality
and profitability in
their supply chains
and to comply with
public legislation.


1.2 The Reasons for setting PVs over Food


Standards enable the
setter to consider
transferring respon-
sibility for compli-
ance to other parti-
cipants in the supply
chain. Risk and com-
petiveness are pri-
mary economic dri-
vers; compliance with
public laws is a clear


catalyst as well. For agricultural trade with
developing countries, this means transferring
compliance to exporters and small-scale farmers
in countries that have public standards and laws
that are different from those in the consuming
country. Developing country producers may
struggle to comply.


The chief economic drivers for setting PVS over
international agricultural supply chains are:


efficiency. High transaction costs are typically
encountered in supply chains that span large
geographical distances. In these supply chains
one challenge is effectively communicating the
needs of a diverse, often geographically dispersed,
set of consumers to another diverse, often
dispersed set of producers. Appropriate PVS can
help lower transaction costs by providing access
for producers and other agents in the supply
chain to information about what customers
want and expect. They can also help by allowing
information to flow more effectively and by
ensuring that changes to production systems and
processes made by producers are well informed
and well targeted. PVS can help deliver efficiency


Standards enable the set-
ter to consider transferring
responsibility for compli-
ance to other participants
in the supply chain. Risk
and competiveness are pri-
mary economic drivers;
compliance with public
laws is a clear catalyst as
well.




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improvements in line with what the markets
want. Efficiency creates winners and losers.
As MacGregor (2009a) argues, “developing a


standard is driven by
economic efficiency
concerns throughout
a supply chain but
implementing a stan-
dard is often moti-
vated by maximising
financial efficiency
for a particular parti-
cipant or sector.”


Willingness to pay. Consumers may be willing
to pay a pre-mium for a product if it meets the
standards they demand. In the UK, consumer
research shows that a significant proportion of UK
shoppers already associate many ethically sourced
products with premium products, and they are
willing to pay a premium for ethical attributes.15
Yet, the association of low-carbon emissions with
premium products remains untested.


Privatisation of food safety. The onus of food
safety is increasingly placed on retailers and
sellers of food, for example, through Article
17 of the General Food Law Regulation (EC)
178/2002, which applies to food business
operators. Article 17 specifies that:


Food and feed business operators at all
stages of production, processing and
distribution within the businesses under
their control shall ensure that foods or
feeds satisfy the requirements of food law
which are relevant to their activities and
shall verify that such requirements are
met.16


In this case, the key incentives for using PVS
include reducing risks. This is well illustrated
by GLOBALGAP, a private sector body that
sets PVS for the certification of agricultural
products at the production stage, originally to
reduce risks presented from food safety (see
Box 1).


In the UK supermarkets
are increasingly working
closely with Department for
International Development
(DFID) and now the Depart-
ment for Energy and Cli-
mate Change (DECC) to
address the development
and climate impacts of the
goods they sell.


1.3 Current Private standards to and from the UK


We have chosen the UK as case study since it
boasts the world’s largest airfreight food hub in
its London airport; it imports over half of fresh
produce by air from sub-Saharan Africa; and it
has been a leader in Europe for the development
and implementation of PVS.


In the UK there has been an evolution in PVS
for food since the early 1990s (see Figure 1).
Most PVS were not designed with the specific
needs of the developing country supply chains
in mind. Private business-to-business standards
dominated the field, with the environmental
management system standard ISO 14000 and
other private good agricultural practices having
direct implications for developing country
producers. ISO is currently developing a new
standard, ISO 14067, which will examine
the ‘carbon footprint of products’. The new
standard will be available in March 2011.
Since 2000, there has been a steady change in


emphasis as PVS started to face consumers,
bringing them information about labour rights
and social conditions.


During the 2000s, supermarkets have stopped
focusing exclusively on their customers and star-
ted to address all citizens, be they di-
rect customers or
not. While such
steps have been
viewed by some
as cynical marketing
ploys, they have
been welcomed by
public authorities
in the UK, where
supermarkets are
increasingly wor-
king closely with Department for International
Development (DFID) and now the Depart-
ment for Energy and Climate Change


“developing a standard is
driven by economic effici-
ency concerns throughout
a supply chain but imple-
menting a standard is often
motivated by maximising
financial effi-ciency for a
particular participant or
sector.”




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Figure 1. trends in PVs in Food in the UK


Source: Homer and MacGregor, 2009.


(DECC) to address the development and
climate impacts of the goods they sell.
Supermarket sector has grown to dominate the
UK grocery market during the early 2000s and
consumers and citizens have become common
audiences for super-markets.


Shareholders have also emerged in the last decade
as a lobby, demanding environmental issues
be addressed. Currently, the emerging themes
being addressed are equality and rights and
how these apply to development, environment,
and access to economic opportunity.


Figure 1 indicates the co-evolution of standards
among public and private actors. This evolution
is important since it illustrates how businesses
have used PVS as a tool to address concerns
and threats as expressed by society and which
might impact their reputation and, therefore,
the viability of their business. Often PVS are
used as tools to learn about a given issue and
to develop appropriate mechanisms to deal with
consumer concerns. One question is how this is
being addressed through carbon labelling, which
we will look at in more detail in Sec-tion Three.


Since 1990, there has been a transformation in
public food safety laws (see Graffham, 2006)


but these shifts have been dwarfed by changes to
the global PVS infrastructure in the food system
– in particular GLOBALGAP (see next section).
New PVS have included: the Ethical Trading
Initiative; Rainforest Alliance environmental
presence in cocoa, tea, and coffee; and Fairtrade
in a spectrum of food products.


With so many companies, products, producer
nations, and supply chain processes, there is
no one dominant direction for these PVS.
However, it is clear that successes are being
built upon. Mainstream products produced
by Multinational Corporations are now being
targeted and branded as well. Emblematic




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Box 1. GLoBALGAP – example of a Food Industry standard


For developing countries, the most important PVS during the past decade has been
GLOBALGAP, a private sector body that sets voluntary B2B standards for the agricultural
products. “The GLOBALGAP standard is primarily designed to reassure consumers about
how food is produced on the farm by minimising detrimental environmental impacts of
farming operations, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach
to worker health and safety as well as animal welfare” (GlobalGAP, 2009).


The scheme covers the whole agricultural production process of the certified product from
before the plant is in the ground (origin and propagation material control points) or from when
the animal enters the production process, to the non-processed end product. No processing,
manufacturing, or slaughtering is covered.17 It has become the most widely implemented and
required PVS for primary production of agricultural products, with over 80,000 certified
producers in 80 countries.18 By the early 2000s, it had become the de facto requirement for
fresh produce in the UK.19


Its significance for developing countries is that in January 2005, its European supermarket
members made GLOBALGAP certification mandatory for its suppliers, including small-scale
farmers in developing countries. An option was introduced to allow small-scale farmers to
comply as a collective group (GLOBALGAP option 2) and therefore avoid the costs of having
to certify as separate units.20 The criteria are updated every three years to reflect changes in
technology and the market. The most recent update to GLOBALGAP (version three) has led
to greater challenges for small-scale farmers and “could accelerate smallholder departure from
export markets.”21


At present, carbon is absent from the compliance criteria for GLOBALGAP, in the third and
most recent version (2008). The preservation of above- and below-ground carbon stocks is
not mentioned throughout the text. Evidence of previous land use is required, but focuses
on food safety risks by pollution or contamination. The consultation period for version four
began in September 2009, and is hosted through an on-line forum.22 There is no mention
of additional carbon standards to be included. Water use, however, appears to be the newest
addition to the standard.


brands include Fairtrade cocoa in Cadbury’s
Dairy Milk and Rainforest Alliance certified tea


in category-leader Lipton’s PG Tips, which is a
Unilever subsidiary.


From a practical viewpoint, the emergence of
any new standard, public or private, will tend to
have several effects:


• Amplify existing inequalities: all stan-
dards will impose (direct and indirect)
costs on businesses. In general, stan-
dards amplify existing inequalities
among stakeholders and competing
suppliers. Those with fewer assets,
furthest from market, least efficient,


and recent entrants, are the most likely
losers while the larger, asset-rich, market
incumbents, tend to do the best and are
able to transfer the risks and costs of
compliance to the weakest.


• Readjustmenttosupplychains,busi-
ness models: standards provide con-
spicuous incentives to find new
ways of conducting business, often
incurring costs of learning and




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PVS have also been widely discussed as posing
a barrier to entry for small-scale producers,
excluding many poor farmers from lucrative
export markets. Many industry participants in


producer countries
argue that PVS are
not voluntary, but
are in practice man-
datory for export
horticulture. This is
due to the use of
PVS by almost all
of the buyers, who
are relatively few
in number. Refusal
to comply with
these standards be-
comes a barrier to
securing access to


these buyers and their markets. Producers and
exporters therefore worry that extra costs from
including new standards for reducing carbon
reduction in supply chains will increase the
cost of entering the market without granting
adequate compensatory benefits through im-
proved market share, profitability, or security of
trading relationships.


A lot has been written on the experience of
PVS in food supply chains lining consumers
with producers in developing countries. There
is a spectrum of experience from positive to
negative, too abundant to cover here.23 This
section, instead, describes some of the methods
by which PVS can have positive or negative
impacts and how this wide range of experiences
have relevance for carbon initiatives in the
food system.


In Africa, trade and technology diffusion often
lags behind the rest of the world. This means
greater entrenched inefficiencies across the
business landscape. There are of course many
examples of good practice, but the wholesale
uptake, and scalability, of best practice remains
sub-optimal. Indeed, the newest donors to
assist Africa are the Gates and Rockefeller
Foundations through the Alliance for a Green
Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which aims in
part to address this issue.


Private standards have helped to re-assert the
need for other agents in the supply chain to
play a more active role in developing innovative
ways to address missing institutions, lowering
transaction costs, and solving market
imperfections. For example, exporters can play
a role in helping to overcome capital market
failures by providing seeds and other inputs
to farmers whose costs can be deducted from
the harvested crop (thus the crop serves as
collateral for the provision of credit). Exporters
can provide extension services and technical
expertise as well, to overcome the notorious
weaknesses of public sector institutions in
providing extension services.24 These practical
solutions have resulted in part from prompts
provided by PVS.


There are numerous subtle ways in which
trade in agricultural products benefits deve-
loping countries. Moving from subsistence
farming to agriculture for export through
longer, more complex, and diverse trade
networks is beneficial to developing world
farmers and their communities for several
reasons:


2. IMPACt oF stAnDARDs


Producers and exporters
worry that extra costs
from including new stan-
dards for reducing car-
bon reduction in supply
chains will increase the
cost of entering the mar-
ket without granting ade-
quate compensatory bene-
fits through improved mar-
ket share, profitability, or
security of trading rela-
tionships.


2.1 PVs experience in Developing Countries


implementation. This might mean
some changes in sourcing, changes
in contracting, and other elements
of a company and even an industry’s
business model.


• Monitoring, Reporting, Verification
(MRV) systems will need to be
developed, tweaked, and realigned to
enable seamless compliance at crucial
points along the food supply chains.




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• Itallowsfarmerstodiversifyawayfrom
what their neighbours are growing. This
reduces the ‘feast and famine’ cycles
and price fluctuations for everyone in
the locality – both those producing for
export and those still producing for local
markets. Reducing price fluctuation
makes it easier to plan investments as
the return will be less uncertain. And
it vastly increases the potential number
and geographical scope of buyers for
produce. This should reduce demand
fluctuation, which allows farmers to
better estimate the income they will
receive for their crop.


• Access to export markets increases the
value of crops. For example, weight for
weight, green beans are worth ten times
more than maize. This increases local
incomes.


• Increasing incomes allows a greater
surplus to be reinvested in agricultural
systems. This encourages the uptake
of technologies to increase output or
improve quality.


• Producingforexportrequiresagricultural
standards to be raised. This requires
education and provides an incentive for
governments and communities to invest
in it. Encouraging education is likely
to have many positive side benefits for
communities.


• Exportproduceismorelikelytorequire
some form of processing to make it
suitable for export (e.g., packaging).
This adds value to the produce close to
the point of production and provides
more livelihoods and income than staple
food produce.


• Trade rarely moves only in one
direction; increased access to export


markets is likely to increase access to
imports. This may diversify local food
markets, reducing price variability
and aid technology transfer. Trade is
one source (often the main source) of
foreign exchange for developing world
farmers. Without access to foreign
exchange, countries cannot access
imported products and technologies.
Imports of capital products, which
are not domestically manufactured,
promote development and increases
agricultu-ral incomes.


The net costs or challenges of this form of
trade can be daunting, however. Despite the
potential for win-win situations in this form
of trade - with consumers gaining access
to exotic and out-of-season products at
affordable prices and growers gaining access
to lucrative markets - the trading relationship
is by no means automatic or easily obtainable.
These costs are at the macro level in the form
of public investments in standards agencies,
upgraded skills required for management in
agronomy and infrastructure development,
and monitoring of trades. They are also
at the micro level through producers and
supply chains ensuring and demonstrating
compliance in the form of investments in
logistics, production, and marketing. In
those cases where international development
benefits can be demonstrated, there are
opportunities to leverage development aid and
technical assistance and other support, which
can reduce total cost burdens, but also have
their own costs through intervention into the
private sector, such as cost escalation. This
poses important questions in terms of long-
term sustainability.




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If carbon is to be a per-
sistent concern and pri-
vate businesses are to
be assessed according to
their carbon emissions,
then PVS will likely help
identify hotspots and,
where possible, reduce
emissions.


3. CARBon stAnDARDs


Carbon is a relatively late and recent entrant
into the PVS arena for the food system. It


needs to be seen as part
of a process change in
the supply chain, not
as a stand-alone factor.
If carbon is to be a
persistent concern and
private businesses are to
be assessed according to
their carbon emissions,
then PVS will likely help
identify hotspots and,


where possible, reduce emissions. Private sector
responses will include redirecting food supply
chains to lower carbon alternatives and might
include opportunities to offset outside their
supply chains. The best chances for success
are if resulting new business models can bring
about cost savings or more efficient, secure
supply chains.


For the purposes of this paper, we are looking at all
agricultural trade from developing countries, not
just the niche products such as FairTrade or other
conspicuous brands. It is crucial to note that for
mainstream food products, PVS have been mostly
used as business-to-business (B2B) toolkits that
help facilitate trading relationships. These tend
not to be consumer-facing in the same sense as
niche certification schemes. Although these are
developed in response to consumer concerns,
they are not necessarily used as marketing tools or
as a unique selling point to differentiate products
(MacGregor et al, 2009). Until quite recently,
when carbon became a consumer concern, the
private sector had not seen competitive advantage
in facing the consumer with such information on
mainstream products.


A key question is whether standards are the
right vehicle to achieve the necessary reductions
in greenhouse gases (GHGs). According to
the Worldwatch Institute Report, June 2009,
“innovations in food production and land use


that are ready to be
scaled-up today could
reduce greenhouse gas
emissions equivalent
to roughly 25 percent
of global fossil fuel
emissions and present the best opportunity
to remove greenhouse gases already in
the atmosphere.” On the other hand, the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s
(IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report has concluded
that in the short term soil carbon sequestration
(enhanced sinks) is the mechanism with the
highest mitigation potential (89 percent).


It is clear we should be willing to accept changes
both in production and consumption of food
production and land use as part of the global
effort to increase mitigation of GHGs. With
rising concern over carbon and new public
laws being implemented in many countries,
the food industry is looking to understand and
limit its exposure. PVS are typically developed
to address specific concerns and carbon is an
interesting example of a concern to be addressed
since it is a global negative externality and there
is no one culprit.


Reducing carbon
needs, however,
should be seen as
an important ele-
ment of sustainable
development. This
paper has already
discussed how in-
creasing agricultural production and trade
can have significant benefits to developing
countries. An obvious concern is that
reducing demand for imports in an attempt
to reduce air-miles and carbon emissions may
come at a high social and economic cost. Any
publicly or privately set standard should take
into account the potential trade-offs between
environmental and development concerns.


A key question is whether
standards are the right vehicle
to achieve the necessary re-
ductions in greenhouse gases
(GHGs).


An obvious concern is that
reducing demand for imports in
an attempt to reduce air-miles
and carbon emissions may come
at a high social and economic
cost.




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Figure 2. exploring the sustainable Development equation


Source: MacGregor, 2009b.


When judging the
suitability of stan-
dards as a vehicle
for reducing car-
bon, the second
important conside-
ration is where car-
bon emissions take
place and who
should be held res-
ponsible for them.


For example, for green beans grown in Kenya
but consumed in the UK, which country is
responsible for the carbon emis-sions? Should it
be counted as part of Kenya’s carbon emissions
(0.2t per capita in 2008) or the UK’s (9.2t per
capita in 2008)?25 Under the Kyoto Protocol
model, production outsourced to outside its
borders counts as reductions in a country’s
total emissions, even though the same level of
end consumption is maintained. This “shaky
arithmetic” has been identified as a weakness,26
which ultimately provides incentives for high
emission countries to outsource production
to lower emission countries. The fact that this
might lead to more production, and hence
jobs, technology transfer, and multipliers for
developing nations needs to be factored into
the discussion. In this way, we can foresee
a possible increase in demand for carbon
labelling by the private sector as consumers
are wary of more producers outsourcing their
production abroad to avoid caps on emissions


in their domestic production areas. This would
not reduce carbon but increase it as the amount
of transport increases.


Whether outsourcing production would really
result in increases in emissions is a question
we address later in the
paper, but a primary
concern is that by
reducing demand for
imports (particularly
in agriculture) from
developing countries
we place the burden
of reducing emissions
unfairly on to them. This would be against
the climate change convention’s recognition of
global inequity in responsibility for dealing with
climate change. The carbon issue needs to be seen
in light of the Kyoto Protocol’s identification
of clear and differentiated responsibilities for
developed and developing nations. Developing
countries are responsible for less than 15 percent
of historical carbon emissions and currently emit
far less per capita than developed nations (the
poorest are just 2 percent of those in the US)
and so should not be expected to suffer greater
costs from policies aimed at curbing emissions,
e.g. reducing demand for products grown in
developing countries if they prove to be higher
in carbon intensity. According to the idea of
“ecological space”, a concept that is defined
earlier in the paper, it could be argued that the


When judging the suit-
ability of standards as
a vehicle for reducing
carbon, the second im-
portant consideration is
where carbon emissions
take place and who
should be held respon-
sible for them.


A primary concern is that
by reducing demand for
imports (particularly in
agriculture) from deve-
loping countries weplace
the burden of re-ducing
emissions unfairly on to
them.




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relatively low contribution of emissions from
developing countries should allow them the
freedom to engage in non-restrictive economic
development.


In light of UK citizen and consumer concern
over climate change, public authorities are
taking action through the Climate Change Act
2008, which includes the Carbon Reduction
Commitment, a mandatory climate-change
and energy-saving scheme. The private sector
is also taking action through, for instance, the
ClimateTrust. Still, there remains a question
over whether there is sufficient evidence
for a public regulation approach to carbon
emissions in the food supply chain or if we
should view this as an example where private
standards are better suited to helping provide
information and ways-of-working to help
design future public policy.


Nevertheless, several governments are addressing
climate concerns through label-based initiatives.


A. Japan is aiming to label 30 products by
the end of 2009 in line with Fukuda’s
Cool Earth Initiative.27 This scheme,
drawn up by Japan’s trade ministry,
offers a uniform method of labelling
carbon emissions to avoid fears among
some firms that their competitors may
use in-house calculations and produce
the lowest possible emissions data. The
labels will provide detailed breakdowns
of each product’s carbon footprint
during manufacturing, distribution,
and disposal.


B. The EU has implemented an action
plan on sustainable consumption, pro-
duction, and industry,28 which in-
cludes plans for displaying information
on environmental and energy pro-
duction and performance. These sche-
mes are not limited to food, but are
expected to make carbon savings along
all supply chains.


3.1 Who Wants These standards?


Consumers would appear to have some willing-
ness to pay (without compulsion) to reduce
carbon emissions.29 This willingness to pay,
however, may only be present for certain visible
perceived high carbon products, for example
flights and domestic energy. Every survey
completed reports high levels of consumer
concern on environmental issues, but at the
supermarket check-out this rarely appears to
be the case. When there is a lack of clear public
legislation on a subject it is common for vocal
consumer concerns to be turned into labels or
standards. In the food sector, this remains a
driver for many PVS around carbon.


The UK-based think-tank Forum for the Future
found in 2008 that “carbon labelling every
product is not a realistic or indeed desirable
goal,” especially within the limited window
of opportunity for addressing climate change.
There is, however, value in a carbon label when
it gives the consumer a genuine choice among a


range of similar products
in a category, rather
than simply being ‘for
information.’ If only one
firm’s product in a category
has a carbon label, it is
unclear how this informs
better decision-making by
consumers. Likewise, if
consumers are trying to
balance their carbon emis-
sions across a range of
purchases, it will be useful
for their scope of choices
to carry information. Currently, we remain a long
way from such a situation. Consumers risk being
underwhelmed by information or confused,
both of which could lead to consumer mistrust
in the label and ultimately the product.


Government, businesses, and other consumer-
facing organisations must keep returning to the


There is value in a carbon
label when it gives the
consumer a genuine cho-
ice among a range of simi-
lar products in a cate-
gory, rather than simply
being ‘for infor-mation.’
If only one firm’s pro-
duct in a category has a
carbon label, it is un-
clear how this informs
better decision-making by
consumers.




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Retailers have an incen-
tive to create supply chain
management systems that
address carbon issues in
advance of expected go-
vernment legislation to
make such systems a legal
requirement.


Governments would bene-
fit from a widespread
carbon standard as it rai-
ses awareness with consu-
mers (voters) of the car-
bon implications of their
purchases.


Drawing from the literature and recent expe-
rience (Bolwig and Gibbon, 2009; MacGregor
et al 2009), a carbon standard should encompass
some of the following design characteristics:


• Provideauniformwayofcalculatingthe
embedded carbon;


• Offerauniversalandindependentappli-
cation to all products regardless of their
method or location of production;


• Account for a majority of embedded
carbon within products; and


• Be simple (and by extension cost-
effective) enough to be practically
implemented.


Furthermore, it should include some of the
following impact characteristics:


• Notfavourcertainproductionprocesses.
• Be recognised and trusted by stake-


holders in the industry and customers.
• Facilitate monitoring, reporting and


verifying. In particular, a standard
should be auditable and a system must be
in place so that calculations of embedded
carbon can be independently verified
to discourage ‘cheating’. An indepen-
dent body would have to uphold the
standard and monitor participants to
this end. Furthermore, this body has


3.2 What Might a Carbon standard Look Like?


question: “What do we actually want consumers
to do?”. In the event that developed world
governments would ever choose to impose and
enforce personal carbon allowances on citizens,
which were required to purchase goods that
would have varying levels of embedded carbon,
the system would gain significant demand
from consumers. Low carbon products would
allow individuals to consume more for their
fixed carbon ration, but all products would
need to report on their carbon emissions to a
standardized and accepted metric.


Retailers have an incentive to create supply chain
management systems that address carbon issues in


advance of expected
government legisla-
tion to make such
systems a legal requ-
irement. Early adop-
tion of such sys-
tems may well pro-
duce first-mover ad-
vantage over com-
petitors in the lon-


ger-term. Retailers would clearly like to be able
to recoup some of the costs associated with
implementing such a system from the consumer.
However, if they are to remain competitive
in the short term against their non-adopting


competitors, recouping the costs of the system
from consumers is dependent on consumers’
willingness to either pay for a premium, or find
ways of streamlining costs from their supply
chains. Plus, emerging consumer preferences
reported in surveys include demanding to know
more about the carbon emissions associated with
their purchases, which provides a conspicuous
incentive to provide some relevant consumer-
facing information.


Governments would be-
nefit from a widespread
carbon standard as it
raises awareness with
consumers (voters) of
the carbon implications
of their purchases. If
governments find them-
selves in a position to
compel their electorates to emit less carbon in
order to comply with international agreements
(such as through personal carbon allowances),
the required legislation would be easier to
implement if the historic data generated by
such a management system were already in
place. In addition, such moves may be more
popular if consumers have already made some
movement towards a preference for low carbon
products themselves.




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A cynical person
might infer that
everyone wants, even
needs, to be seen
to be contributing
to the latest global
environmental threat
of climate change.
Large retailers an-
nounce grand plans
to identify carbon
throughout their sto-
res but are sluggish to
deliver. Consumers,
when surveyed, say


they shop to reduce carbon, but often fail to
do so in practice. Life cycle analysts claim to be
able to assess accurately the level of embedded
carbon within a given product, but such
assessments are limited by time, labour, and
scientific constraints. We are currently unable to
hold the existing carbon standards and labels up
to the ‘ideal’ design and impact characteristics
above. These are still evolving and best practices
are being formulated.


In light of this, the expected future deve-
lopment is a push towards conspicuous con-
sumer-facing labels. Here are some of the
more prominent examples:


1. BsI PAs 2050


British Standards Institute’s PAS 2050 (Publically
Available Specification) is a set of guidelines for
an appropriate level of analysis of a CO2 lifecycle
assessment. While produced by the British
Standards Institute (BSI), it is not a legally
binding British or European standard. PAS
2050 is intended as either a business-to-business
(B2B) standard or a business-to-consumer (B2C)
standard and it is the methodology used by
the Carbon Label Company (see below). This
defines whether the standard is “cradle-to-gate”
and therefore does not consider emissions arising
from the use of the product. It differs from a
“cradle-to-grave” approach, which accounts for
emissions from use and disposal.


By complying with the specification of a
respected standard institute, a firm increases the
confidence its customers have that the assessment
of embedded carbon is correct. This confidence
is increased further if the specification is widely
used and becomes an industry standard. Like
many technologies, there may be room for only
one standard in an industry; once one standard
is clearly dominant, competing standards may
fall into disuse. Currently, PAS 2050 fills this
role and it is championed by those stakeholders
involved in its development.


3.3 examples of Carbon standards


Large retailers announce
grand plans to identify car-
bon throughout their stores
but are sluggish to deliver.
Consumers, when surveyed,
say they shop to reduce car-
bon, but often fail to do so
in practice. Life cycle ana-
lysts claim to be able to
assess accurately the level of
embedded carbon within a
given product, but such
assessments are limited by
time, labour, and scientific
constraints.


to have sufficient power to punish
offenders in order to ensure that
compliance with the standard is known
to be more rewarding than cheating.


• Include better market choices for all
supply chain participants.


• Reward firms appropriately through
competition. A carbon standard would
allow consumers and intermediate pro-
cessors to include embedded carbon as
one of the variables by which they make
market choices. This allows producers
and firms in the supply chain to compete
on the basis of embedded carbon. In the
event that consumers are prepared to


pay a premium for products with low
embedded carbon, this should reward
firms who lower their carbon emissions.


• Reducing emissions rids the market
of the worst offenders and identifies
hotspots where change can be made.


• Raiseawarenessofthecostofcarbonwith
consumers. By attaching a premium,
we implicitly value carbon, and since
agricultural products are consumed on
a daily basis, this raises awareness of the
cost of carbon with consumers. It also
has the potential to key into carbon
markets, enriching them and improving
their function.




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Complying with PAS 2050 would be consi-
derably cheaper for firms if a large proportion
of their input products are already compliant
with this specification. As such, should a firm
wish to comply with this specification, it would
benefit from its suppliers also being compliant.
Compliance by retailers, rather than compliance
by initial producers, is most likely to promote a
wide uptake of the standard.


PAS 2050 includes guidance on a number of
areas of carbon accounting including:


• Thecoefficientsthatshouldbeusedfor
comparing one GHG against another
by converting all emissions into CO2
equivalent units (CO2e).


• The proportion of embedded carbon
that should be covered in the assessment
(at least 95 percent).


• Howcarbonfrombiogenic(non-fossil)
sources should be treated. Emissions
from biogenic carbon sources (biofuels)
are excluded; however, the embedded
carbon (fossil fuel input for example) is
included.


• Howlandusechangeshouldbetreated.
Carbon released is assigned to the firm’s
production over the next 20 years and
requires a ‘worst case scenario’ to be used
if land use changes are not known.


• Soilcarbonchangeiscurrentlyexcluded
from the specification but may be
included in future revisions.


• GHG emissions from storage of a
product should be included.


• Offsettingmaynotbeusedtoalterthe
embedded carbon of a product.


PAS 2050 is very specific about what should and
should not be included in a life-cycle assessment.
It tends to exclude emissions that would be
too technically difficult to assess – for example,
soil carbon and capital goods – but notes that
these may be included in future revisions of
the standard. This will prevent companies
from lowering their published carbon footprint
through some existing mechanism. For example,
companies cannot reduce embedded emissions
from energy by paying a renewable energy fee for
grid-sourced energy, nor may they offset carbon
emissions. This means that lowering reported
embedded carbon will mean changing practices
within the boundary of the firm itself, rather than
by paying for them to be changed elsewhere.


2. Carbon Reduction Label, UK


The Carbon Label Company was set up by the
Carbon Trust in 2007 to run the Carbon Trust’s
product standard. This standard is intended to
function both as a business-to-business (B2B)
and business-to-customer (B2C) standard. The
company aims to measure, certify, reduce and
communicate the life cycle green house gas
emissions of their products.


The company uses a standard carbon label:


Figure 3. Carbon trust Label




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This details the quantity of embedded CO2e
in the product, as well as a functional unit,
like, for example “per serving” for food, or “per
wash” for cleaners. The methodology used to
calculate this carbon is PAS 2050 (see above). In
addition to calculating embedded carbon using
a standard methodology, firms who wish to use
the Carbon Trust’s standard must commit to
reducing the footprint of the product over the
two years following certification, or they will
risk losing the right to use the label.


Firms and products using this standard
include:


• Walkers(crisps);


• Innocent(fruitandvegetablesmoothies);
• Cadbury(chocolate);
• Halifax(websaveraccount);
• Marshalls,pavingproducts(2500pro-


ducts); and
• Tesco’s own brand range of biological


laundry detergent, orange juice, light
bulbs, and potatoes.


The results were communicated to consumers
in a variety of ways, for instance through a
carbon footprint label on packets of Walkers
Crisps or online as in the case of Innocent,
which informed consumers that one 250ml
Innocent Smoothie equals 8 percent of your
daily CO2 from food and drink.


Source: Innocent, http://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/us/ethics/resource_efficient/a_CO2_allowance/


Figure 4. The Innocent smoothie Label


3. tesco, UK


Tesco is the market leader in the UK grocery
sector with a one-third market share and its
own PVS, Nature’s Choice. This PVS is farm-
based and seeks to “ensure that our top quality
fresh produce comes from growers who use
good agricultural practices, operate in an
environmentally responsible way and with
proper regard for the health and well being of their
staff.”30 It does not include carbon assessments.


In January 2007, it announced a plan to measure
the carbon in all the product lines sold through
its stores.31 In his speech, CEO Terry Leahy said
“I am determined that Tesco should be a leader


in helping to create a low-carbon economy …
[but] I do not underestimate the task.”32


Tesco was part of the initial trial of the Carbon
Label Company’s standard and included four
types of product: potatoes, light bulbs, detergent,
and orange juice. Since then, it has expanded
the range of products that are included under
this labelling system to 100 products.


Its carbon indicators are regularly published33
showing the carbon footprint per functional unit
in grams, as well as estimates for the distribution
of these carbon emissions at key nodes along the
supply chain – production, distribution, retail
store, consumer use, and waste management.




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Category and
Product


Carbon
Footprint


(C02e
gram/ unit)


Carbon Footprint Broken Down into Lifecycle
stages (%)


Production Distribution store Use
end of


Life Waste
Management


Tesco Non
Biological Liquid
Wash Detergent


700g per
wash 17% 0.2% 1% 73% 9%


Tesco 100% Pure
Squeezed Orange
Juice


360g per
250ml 91% 1% 7% 0.3% 1%


60W Pearl Light
bulb


34kg per
1000 hrs of


use
1% <0.1% <0.1% 99% <0.1%


King Edwards
potatoes (2.5 kg)


160g per
250g serving 33% 1% 3% 56% 7%


Source: Tesco, 2009.


There are strong commonalities among
product categories for carbon emissions and
distribution along the supply chain. This
provides opportunities to create common
carbon emissions ratings for product categories
with far fewer variables. For potatoes, these


variables appear to have higher emissions
for the production for the organic product
and lower in consumer use. These initial
findings are being built upon, but harbour the
possibility for entire store coverage in the next
five years.


table 1. estimates of Carbon emission Distribution along the supply Chain, for Four Products
sold by tesco, 2009




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table 2. estimates of Carbon emission Distribution along the supply Chain, for Four types
of Potato sold By tesco, 2009


Category and
Product


Carbon
Footprint


(C02e
gram/ unit)


Carbon Footprint broken down into Lifecycle
stages (%)


Production Distribution store Use
end of


Life Waste
Management


King Edwards
(2.5 kg)


160g per
250g


serving
33% 1% 3% 56% 7%


Anglian New
(2.5 kg)


140g per
250g


serving
34% 1% 3% 58% 4%


Organic New
(1.5 kg)


160g per
250g


serving
40% 1% 4% 51% 4%


Organic Baby New
(750 g)


140g per
250g


serving
48% 1% 5% 41% 4%


Source: Tesco (2009). Our carbon label findings.
http://www.tesco.com/assets/greenerliving/content/documents/pdfs/carbon_label_findings.pdf


4. Climatop, switzerland


Climatop is a Swiss not-for-profit organisation
founded in late 2008.34 The Approved ClimaTop
label is awarded to products that have significantly
(20 %+) lower embedded GHG emissions than
comparable products. These products are referred
to as “carbon champions” within their product
group.35 As such, it is a business-to-consumer
standard. Comparisons between products are
conducted with life cycle assessments (LCAs)
using the Ecoinvent standard database36 and


checked by an independent reviewer. Once
certified, a product may use the label for two
years; after this point, it requires recertification.


In addition to having significantly lower embed-
ded carbon, a product must also meet additional
social and ethical standards of production.
Currently there are a limited number of certified
products (16 lines), of which only four are food
items. The majority of certified products are
produced for and sold by a single large retailer
(Migros).


Figure 5. Climatop Label




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Figure 6. Results from the LCA of Five Asparagus Products at Migros, 2008-9


Source: ClimaTop (2009).


This analysis concluded that transportation by air
was a significant contributor to carbon emissions.
However, there remains some dispute with the peer
review for this product category; the majority of
this asparagus was being imported on scheduled
tourist and business flights. As such, carbon
emissions attributable to it could be considerably
lower. However, in most assortment areas, there
are no significant product differences with regards
to impact on the climate. For instance, among the
apple juice products, they were unable to select
any carbon champions.37 Yet, the plan remains to
expand the number of product categories and in
turn climate labels.


5. Casino, France


The French supermarket chain Casino has
launched a carbon labelling initiative on a selec-
tion of its private label products.38 The labels,
which the retailer aimed to have on 3,000 of its
products by the end of 2008, show the carbon
emissions related to a product’s production and
supply chain. The trial will show an on-pack
traffic light carbon label, which highlights
whether a product has a high (red), medium
(amber), or low (green) carbon impact in terms
of waste, packaging, and transport, covering 32
products as of September 2009.




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Figure 7. Carbon Assessment of Pack of eight Vanilla Yoghurts by Casino, 2008


Source: Casino.39


6. Wal-Mart, UsA


In July 2009, Walmart announced the creation
of its Sustainability Index initiative,40 meant to
measure the sustainability of its products in four
areas: energy and climate, natural resources,
material efficiency, and people and community.


The initiative is broken into three phases:


1. Supplier assessment. A survey of the
company’s 100,000 global suppliers
with 15 questions41 will commence with
Walmart’s “top-tier suppliers” in the
United States completing the survey
by 1 October 2009. Timelines for the
remaining suppliers have not been
announced.


2. Creation of a life cycle analysis database
by a consortium of universities that will
work with suppliers, retailers, government
and nonprofits.


3. Delivering the information to the
consumer on how products rank, possibly
through a numeric score, colour code, or
other label.


7. Air Freighted Labels, UK


In 2007, Tesco and Marks and Spencer commit-
ted to labelling all single-ingredient fresh pro-
duce that was transported by air to the UK.
Labels displaying ‘black airplanes’ appeared on
all fresh chilled produce. This was launched by
Tesco in February 2007.


Figure 8. Air Freighted Label Used by tesco and Marks and spencer




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Consumers, however, failed to react to these labels
in the expected negative way. Sales are reported
not to have dipped. Consumers reported a variety
of responses, including actively seeking these
labels assuming it meant “freshness” and owing
to the provenance of the produce from Africa or
developing countries. These labels are still being
used in several supermarkets, but for information
purposes now, rather than as a prominent signal
demanding the consumer make a choice. These


labels are, however, seen as pre-cursors for later
carbon labelling initiatives.


8. others include:


A. Bilan CO2 Leclerc, France: This recent
start-up aims to provide information on
a range of food products on kilograms of
CO2 per kilogram of food, in the same
way that food prices are displayed.


Figure 9. An example of the Bilan Co2 Leclerc Label for Imported Green Beans


Source: http://www.jeconomisemaplanete.fr/


B. Cool label, Korea


Figure 10. CooL Label, Korea


Source: Kim (2008).


C. Climate Marking, Sweden42


D. Climate Conscious Label, USA43


E. Climate Declaration, Sweden (6 products)


F. Carbon Counted Carbon Label, Canada,


Many of these are fledgling, but all are expected
to grow, and it is expected that other new
entrants to join.




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As mentioned in the beginning of this section,
this increase in demand for carbon standards
stems primarily from the fear that producers
in developed countries will simply outsource
their production to developing countries who
are not burdened with emission caps. There is
often the assumption that food and agriculture
goods that are imported will automatically
have a higher carbon footprint due to higher
transport emissions. This assumption can often


be inaccurate, however, as
developing countries typi-
cally rely on less carbon
intensive methods of agri-
culture, for example by
using less fertiliser, mecha-
nisation, and energy for
heating. To calculate the
true carbon cost of a good,


those setting standards might rely on ‘Life Cycle
Analysis’ to gain a more exact measurement.


Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
aims to evaluate the con-
tribution on impact cate-
gories such as global war-
ming, acidification, etc. from
the full industrial processes
of producing a good. It seeks
to compare the full range of
environmental and social


damages assignable to products and services in
order to be able to choose the least burdensome
one. A Life Cycle Impact Assessment can also
be used for assessing hotspots and iden-tifying
inefficiencies within supply chains and then
making suggestions for improvements.


Yet, while it can accurately measure impacts
of a supply chain, it does not extend to the
commercial elements of supply chains, such
as dividing the energy consumed in producing
and maintaining a truck among its lifetime of
loads hauled. As a consequence, LCA is often
criticised owing to the choice of boundaries,
which affect the guidance an LCA can provide.


For supermarkets, this limitation is key, as
the inclusion of an indicator of emissions
incurred during distribution from farm to
store (included above by Tesco) is fraught
with calculation issues (e.g., how to account
for airfreight in the underbelly of a tourist
aircraft without double-counting).


One advance might be economic input-
output life cycle assessment (EIO-LCA),
which seeks to incorporate fully commercial
and technical aspects of cradle-to-grave
(non-wasteful) supply chain systems. These
must, however, rely on available data and are
currently dependent on sector averages for its
foundation.


Developing countries lack the skills and
institutions to deal effectively with demands
of LCA. Industry participants in developing
countries are rarely actively involved in
standards setting. It is clear that science and
decision-making would certainly benefit from
a more forensic approach to carbon, but until
better data is available for all countries and
processes in ways that do not exclude those
smaller farmers with lower abilities to pay for
such calculations, we remain dependent on
available statistics and generalised inferences.


One of the first LCA conducted compared
the production of green beans in sub-Saharan
African production with that in the UK.44 The
analysis found strikingly similar energy use
during the production process. As such, there
are available resources to help craft emerging
carbon standards in the measuring and in the
process of identifying supply chain hotspots.
For instance, the LCA within the EcoInvent
Standard for agriculture covers seed growing,
cultivation, harvesting of basic agricultural
commodities, and differentiates between orga-
nic, integrated, extensive, and intensive pro-
duction.45 But thorny calculation issues pre-
vail, such as dealing with land-use change and
the use of secondary standardised data.46


3.4 Calculating Carbon: Life Cycle Analysis


To calculate the true
carbon cost of a good,
those setting standards
might rely on ‘Life Cycle
Analysis’ to gain a more
exact measurement.


Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
aims to evaluate the
contribution on impact
categories such as global
warming, acidification,
etc. from the full in-
dustrial processes of pro-
ducing a good.




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International trade is another area where LCA
shows its limitations. For example, an estimated
75 percent of fresh produce flown from East
Africa to consumers in the UK travels in the
spare capacity (or bellyhold) of tourist and
business flights. The attribution of carbon
emissions associated with this flight is a complex
calculation. Attribution among passengers and
cargo could be defined by the relative weights
in tonnes, the relative prices paid, or the
relative space taken up. Each element would
attribute carbon differently. Add into this the


complexities of including aviation emissions
across the 30-year lifespan of each plane, the
economics of the aviation industry’s landing-
slots, and aviation emissions currently omitted
from the Kyoto Protocol. Research into an
international levy on tourism for adaptation
to climate change has shown the feasibility
of economic incentive mechanisms in raising
carbon efficiencies (Chambwera, 2008), but
incorporating the equity issue remains beyond
the capacity of existing LCA architecture
(Chambwera and MacGregor, 2008)47.


Development. The idea of creating a ‘develop-
ment-based standard’ has been mooted many
times in discussions between retailers and NGOs.
While there is certainly value in examining the
point of potential differences in products with a
development story attached, the ability to craft
a standard or a label has thus far proven elusive.
It is clear that it would be difficult to ensure that
there are genuine benefits and that any solution
promotes upgraded benefits to producers in
developing countries. Given that many small-
scale farmers operate in the informal sector in
rural parts of developing countries where there
is little information available at a national level
on livelihoods, the building blocks for a standard
will need to be imported. It is expected that in
the years ahead, however, there will likely be a re-
focus on agricultural development in developing
countries, as both a mitigation and adaptation
issue. It is uncertain as to when a legitimate
development standard will be crafted and, also
importantly, whether this would promote or
hinder trade.


There is increasing interest in folding indicators
on carbon and development into a meta-
standard for sustainable development (the so-
called ‘carbon plus’ standards). The difficulties,
however, in measuring and trading off among
the environmental footprint and the social
handprints associated with the food system and
specific supply chains, render this scientifically
unlikely.


Biofuels. Agriculture also has the potential to
be part of various mitigation strategies. These
include the growing of “energy crops” that can
be processed into fuel substitutes (biofuels)
or burnt to provide heating (biomass). These
crops take up the carbon they release upon
combustion as they grow, and, as such, can be
considered a short-cycle carbon crop. While
it is often claimed that such fuels are carbon
neutral, in reality they have other energy inputs
during production from fossil fuels, as well
having indirect land-use implications, such as
displacing food crops onto forest land. This
means that the net embedded carbon in some
biofuels may be positive rather than neutral. It is
possible that the total embedded carbon within
a biofuel product is greater than an equivalent
fossil fuel hydrocarbon. If this is the case, there
is no climate change mitigation justification for
the fuel.


Standards applied to agricultural products
exist not only for food products. A taskforce
has been coordinated by the International
Biofuels Forum to look into the practicalities
of producing International Biofuels Standards.
This is primarily due to differences in the
chemical makeup of biofuels in the three
leading members of the Forum (US, EU, and
Brazil), rather than an environmental focus. All
three are producing biofuel products but these
are not always compatible with the prevailing
technologies (engine configurations) in the


3.5 other emerging standards




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other countries. The aim of this standard is to
facilitate trade in biofuels outside of the home
markets of the Forum’s members.


As noted above, it is possible for biofuels to have
a greater embedded carbon than the fossil fuel
equivalent that they look to replace. The White
Paper on Internationally Compatible Biofuel
Standards interestingly does not mention climate
change in its 94 pages. A standard for measuring
the embedded carbon within different biofuel
products would be a useful addition to better
allow the assessment of green credentials of each
product as well.


International carbon standards and trading.
Recently, climate negotiators have placed a
renewed focus on the impact of climate change in
developing countries. This is drawing attention
to production emissions and mitigation potential
and could in the future include a focus on
soil carbon and the land-use practices that
determine carbon content of soils (the potential
of carbon storage in soil is now given more
attention in international discussions). Soil
locks carbon in its structure because carbon is
a significant component (57 percent by weight)


of organic soil matter. This carbon is released
by microbial activity in the soil but is refreshed
by plant matter decomposing into the soil. The
speed at which carbon is accumulated and loss
from the soil determines the stock level of carbon
at any time. These flows are affected by many
factors, including water regime and farming
practices e.g. tilling soil exposes it to air and
increases microbial activity, which breaks down
the solid organic carbon into carbon dioxide
more rapidly, thereby reducing the stock level of
carbon. Considerable amounts of agricultural
land in the world have been tilled and therefore
have lower levels of stock carbon than they could
have. If methods are employed to reduce the rate
at which these degraded soils lose carbon, they
have the potential to act as a carbon sink as soils
adjust to higher stock levels of carbon. The role
of carbon standards in the future is unclear.
Whether carbon standards should or could be


deemed an accep-
table tool to pro-
vide incentives for
landuse change in
developing coun-
tries is an impor-
tant question.


Whether carbon stan-
dards should or could be
deemed an acceptable
tool to provide incentives
for land-use change in
developing countries is
an important question.


There is concern over how climate change
issues could interfere with trade by favouring
certain processes or countries. A clause in the
US Clean Energy and Security Act passed by
the US House of Representatives included
wording that – if the bill were made law –
would allow the president to impose a carbon
tariff on imported products after 2012 if
industrial carbon emissions from the country
of export are higher than those in the US.
This hints at the potential to use carbon as a
trade tool.


In the food industry, the private sector has a track
record of being ahead of the public sector in
taking action over issues of public concern. For
this reason, trends in carbon labelling are likely to
be led by the private sector. For carbon, labels and
standards are an increasingly conspicuous example
of a PVS. These carbon standards build upon best
practice in PVS but crucially extend the concept
to consumers through labels, and as such, are
extensions of PVS. Any such extension can result
in trade issues and deserves to be monitored for
use as a non-tariff barrier.


3.6 Potential for Carbon standards to Impact on trade




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1. Carbon footprints can play a role in
reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the
food systems. Whether this is a problem
for developing country exports is unclear.


This issue revolves around whether public
standards are developed in ways that promote
sustainable development or ease of measurement
or maximises some other benefit.


If private standards are developed in industries
and supply chains already promote sustainable
development, then environmental benefits are
not raised while costs increase for exporters.


2. Clarify the roles of private standards and
public legislation in addressing carbon
concerns in the food system.


Both private and public policies currently
influence trade and will be integral to achieving
trade in the future that supports global low-
carbon growth. Leadership on the carbon issue
is unclear, though, with a mix of initiatives
currently addressing different elements of the
issue. We feel carbon agreements and standards
harbour the opportunity to be leveraged
for genuine progress on the Millennium
Development Goals, poverty alleviation, tech-
nology transfer, equity, and sustainable
development.


Currently, private standards play an important
role in optimizing supply chains in the food
system. Can these PVS be extended to deal with
a global public bad, such as climate change? It
is clear that carbon could be reduced in some
supply chains and could even be optimised,
with a serious upheaval in our existing food
system. But there are concerns over the cost it
would have on consumer choices, sustainable
development, and the efficiency and integrity
of the food system.


Privatisation of public legislation needs to
be recognised. In food, the private sector is


often made responsible for implementing
public legislation. It is crucial that a better
understanding of the operations of the private
food and agriculture sectors is achieved in order
to better design public policy and to ensure
that trading rules are not adversely interfered
with. To achieve this, the interaction between
public and private legislation needs to be more
clearly understood.


3. PVs experience in developing export
horticulture needs to be learned and
ultimately the underlying principles
scaled up widely.


For developing countries, there is a small
window of opportunity to ensure that carbon
can be appropriately controlled in ways that
do not limit (and even stimulate) economic
growth in those nations. This window exists
because of the ongoing evolution of PVS in
food and the looming discussions on global and
national legislation over carbon emissions.


In our increasingly globalised world, we
expect global trade to accelerate, particularly
as global solutions are being found collectively
for climate and poverty alleviation. This
would deepen the potential impact of
introducing new standards. These voluntary
standards, as well as the ones enforced under
trade agreement’s legislation, should also be
formulated to maximise positive spillovers
into other industries.


Lessons can be learned from the evolution of
carbon-concerned PVS from food to other
products, though food is a standard bearer in
trade from developing countries to developed.
The methods that proved most successful in
pilot schemes should be replicated and previous
mistakes should be avoided. If the evolution
of carbon as a public and private standard is
not managed appropriately, the cascade into
other supply chains and industrial sectors is
expected.


4. KeY ConCLUsIons AnD PoLICY ReCoMMenDAtIons




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4. Analysis of carbon emissions provides a
lens to analyse the wider issues affecting
sustainable development in agricultural
sectors in developing countries.


When setting public standards, governments
and bilateral or multilateral trade agreements
should aim to identify what developing
countries’ agricultural sectors really need to
achieve low-carbon growth nationally and to
contribute to global targets. There is widespread
recognition of the potential for low-carbon
agriculture export-led growth. However,
developing countries need help in this regard
to ensure positive uptake of any measure in
the agricultural sector. The wider sector needs
transfer of productive skills, good agricultural
practices, and marketing skills. It is clear that
PVS and even Carbon+ standards can deliver
for some stakeholders. In addition, on the low-
carbon growth side, there is a need for access
to locally adapted appropriate technologies.
Moreover, in the future, agriculture is likely
to be central to the climate agenda with
expected global progress on mechanisms and
principles over REDD (Reducing Emissions
from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in
Developing Countries), soil carbon, agriculture,
and development linkages.


Designing compliance criteria that are not
financially burdensome for developing
countries, thereby limiting market access, is
a crucial part of a successful trade agreement.
Existing compliance systems should be used to
keep the cost and administration burden low.
Support will be needed to ensure less asset-
rich industry participants are not excluded.
Evidence from other PVS illustrates this
principle. As the International Institute for
Environment and Development (IIED) and the
Natural Resources Institute (NRI) argue, “it is
significant that small-scale farmers who are not
well supported by their exporter struggled with
GLOBALGAP, and evidence from Kenya has
shown that they either fail to certify or drop
out of the compliance system within one to
two years of first being certified” (2009:69).


The limitations to public trade rules enforced
by these agreements in defining market access
for developing nations should be recognised
however. Private and public sector roles,
particularly around food, must be understood,
re-assessed, and/or integrated. Protectionism
potential (e.g. US and low-carbon growth) must
also be viewed through a global equity lens,
accounting for the cost and benefit implications
to every country and not just the individual
rules or targets examined.


5. Consumer-facing carbon labels and car-
bon PVs cannot limit emissions effec-
tively without appropriately priced envi-
ronmental externalities.


Consumer reaction to labels in general is low and
we expect this to be the case for carbon labels as
well. Indeed, the case of consumers viewing ‘air
freight’ labels as indicating freshness is a good
example of how messages are interpreted by
consumers in unexpected ways. In order to be
a more effective vehicle for limiting emissions
through consumption choices, carbon labels
will require more adequate governance over
carbon dioxide emissions. Here, for instance,
the true pricing of externalities through, say, a
global carbon market would be one additional
governance element that would promote the
significance of a carbon label on food products.
Food is about far more than consumption
choices and the transportation taken to buy
food is a significant carbon issue that remains
un-captured in labels.


6. The potential for private sector buyers
to insist on contractual reductions in
carbon for a product harbour the greatest
potential for actual carbon reductions in
the food system.


The enabling system that would need to be in
place for this to occur would include a carbon
price embedded in global supply chains. Car-
bon dioxide emissions would also need to be
measurable, and as we have pointed out, currently,
there is not a universally trusted methodology.




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notes


1 For reviews of the different schemes, see Bolwig and Gibbon, 2009; Brenton, Edwards-Jones
and Jensen, 2008.


2 It is noted here the public forums used by GLOBALGAP in 2007 might provide an example
of a trend to more inclusive decision-making by standards setters.


3 It is noted here the public forums used by GLOBALGAP in 2007 might provide an example
of a trend to more inclusive decision-making by standards setters.


4 MacGregor et al, 2009.


5 See example of an outgrower system developed by Homegrown in Kenya. Graffham et al
2007.


6 For example, green beans are produced in the UK during May to October, Kenya during
September to January, and Egypt during January to April.


7 Such as GLOBALGAP or Field-to-Fork or Nature’s Choice.


8 Such as Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade.


9 In 2009, Tesco took its Nature’s Choice retailer-specific PVS and bolted-on a consumer-
facing front-end, called Nurture. In 2007, Marks and Spencer built its consumer-facing Plan
A around its retailer-specific PVS, Field-to-Fork.


10 Such as GLOBALGAP.


11 Such as Marks and Spencer’s Field-to-Fork or Tesco’s Nature’s Choice.


12 Borot et al 2009.


13 Homer, 2009a.


14 Borot et al, 2009.


15 IGD consumer research in Garcia Martinez and Poole, 2009:18.


16 Official Journal of the European Communities, 2002: 11.


17 GlobalGAP, 2007:8.


18 Garcia Martinez and Poole, 2009.


19 Bell et al, 2007.


20 Garcia and Martinez, 2009.




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21 Graffham et al, 2009:24.


22 http://forum.globalgap.org/.


23 Borot et al, 2009.


24 Blackmore and MacGregor, 2009.


25 MacGregor et al, 2008.


26 Helm et al, 2007.


27 http://www.environmentalleader.com/2008/08/21/japanese-govt-launching-carbon-
labeling-program/.


http://www.weforum.org/en/media/Latest%20Press%20Releases/PR_26jan_Japan.


28 http://ec.europa.eu/news/environment/080716_2_en.htm.


29 MacKerron et al, 2009.


30 http://www.tescofarming.com/tnc.asp.


31 Garside et al, 2007.


32 Leahy, 2007.


33 Tesco, 2009.


34 http://www.climatop.ch/.


35 Diethelm, 2009.


36 See http://www.ecoinvent.org/.


37 Diethelm, 2009. Labelling top runner products: Experience at Migros. Presentation at
‘Communicating the carbon impact of products to customers’, at the First PCF Word Summit
2009, Berlin, 26-27 February.


38 http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Supply-Chain/French-retailer-in-green-labelling-
initiative.


39 http://www.produits-casino.fr/spip.php?page=indice-carbone&id_article=1005&code_
bdq=109.


40 See http://greenbiz.com/view-term/all/Sustainability%20Index.


41 See WalMart, 2009a. Sustainability Product Index: 15 Questions for Suppliers. WalMartStores.
com. 1pp. http://walmartstores.com/download/3863.pdf.




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42 http://www.krav.se/sv/Klimat.


43 http://www.climateconservancy.org/.


44 Jones, 2007 – this is fresh insights no. 3?


45 http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/database2.vm?dbid=119.


46 Kasterine and Vanzetti, 2009.


47 MacGregor et al, 2007.




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ReFeRenCes


Aksoy, M.A. and Beghin, J.C. (eds) (2005). Global agricultural trade and developing countries.
Washington DC: The World Bank.


Blackmore, E. and MacGregor, J. (2009). How standards can lead to the development of new
agribusiness models for horticultural products. In D. Mithöfer and H. Waibel Socio-economic
research in vegetable production and marketing in Africa. CABI, In press.


Bolwig, S. and Gibbon, P. (2009). Overview of product carbon footprinting schemes and standards.
Paris, OECD.


Borot, A., MacGregor, J. and Graffham, A. (eds) (2009). Standard bearers: horticultural exports and
private standards in Africa. International Institute for Envrionment and Development, 176pp.
http://www.iied.org.


Brenton, P., Edwards-Jones, G. and Friis Jensen, M. (2009). Carbon Labelling and Low-income
Country Exports: A Review of the Development Issues. Development Policy Review 27(3),
Overseas Development Institute, UK, p243-67.


Diop, N. and Jaffee, S. (2005). Fruits and Vegetables: Global Trade and Competition in Fresh and
Processed Product Markets. In Aksoy and Beghin (2005).


Edwards-Jones,G., Plassmann, K., York, R.H, Hounsome, B., Jones, D.B, and L. Milà i Canals
(2009). Vulnerability of exporting nations to the development of a carbon label in the United
Kingdom Environmental Science & Policy 12(4), Pages 479-490.


Forum for the Future (2008). Check out Carbon. Forum For the Future, London, UK. 21pp.


Garcia Martinez, M. and Poole, N. (2009). Ethical consumerism: development of a global trend
and its impact on development. . In Borot et al 2009.


Graffham, A., Cooper, J. Wainwright, H. and MacGregor, J. (2009). An exploration of farmers’
decision-making and reasons for participation in and subsequent withdrawal from
GLOBALGAP. In Borot et al 2009.


Helm, D., Smale, R. and J. Phillips (2007). Too Good to be True: The UK’s Climate Change
Record. Unpublished paper, Dieterhelm.co.uk, 29pp.


Homer, S. (2009a). Standards and the food system. Presentation at UNIDO/IDS Meeting, 18
September, Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK.


Homer, S. (2009b). In Borot et al 2009.


Homer, S. and MacGregor, J. (2009). Fairer food miles. Presentation at UNIDO/IDS Meeting, 18
September, Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK.




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Kim, I. (2008). Carbon footprint label activities in Korea. Korea Eco-Product Institute,
http://www.greengrowth.org/download/2008/singg_cebu/Session%207/%5B7-
3%5DCarbon_label_activities_UNESCAP_Kim%20IK%5B7%5D.pdf.


Leahy, T. (2007). Tesco, Carbon and the Consumer. Presentation at ‘Carbon and the consumer’,
Forum for the Future and Tesco, London, 18 January. http://www.tesco.com/climatechange/
speech.asp.


MacGregor, J, and M. Chambwera (2007). Room to move: ecological space and emissions equity.
Sustainable development: opinion. International Institute for Environment and Development,
London, UK.


MacGregor, J. (2009a). Understanding stakeholder drivers for introducing and complying with
PVS - a fresh produce example. In Borot et al 2009.


MacKerron, G, Egerton, C, Gaskell C, Parpia A, and Mourato, S. (2009). Willingness to pay
for carbon offset certification and co-benefits among (high-)flying young adults in the UK,
Energy Policy 37(4), p1372-1381.


MacGregor, J. (2009b). In Borot et al 2009.


Martino, D., and P. Smith, (2009). IPCC 4th Assessment Report, Agriculture, http://www.ipcc.ch/
pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg3/ar4-wg3-chapter8.pdf.


Tesco (2009). Our carbon label findings. http://www.tesco.com/assets/greenerliving/content/
documents/pdfs/carbon_label_findings.pdf.


Waye, V. (2006). Carbon footprints, food miles and the Australian wine industry. Melbourne Journal
of International Law 9(1), p. 271.


Weinberger, K. and Lumpkin, T. (2005). Horticulture for Poverty Alleviation: The Unfunded
Revolution. AVRDC Working Paper No 15, The World Vegetable Center, Shanhua, Taiwan.




About the Platform


In 2008 the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable
Development (ICTSD) launched The ICTSD-IPC Platform on Climate Change, Agriculture and Trade. This interdisciplinary
platform of climate change, agricultural and trade experts seeks to promote increased policy coherence to ensure effective climate
change mitigation and adaptation, food security and a more open and equitable global food system. Publications include:


• InternationalClimateChangeNegotiationsandAgriculture.PolicyBriefNo.1,May2009


• GreenhouseGasReductionPoliciesandAgriculture:ImplicationsforProductionIncentivesandInternationalTradeDisciplines.
IssueBriefNo.1,byD.BlandfordandT.Josling,August2009


• ClimateChangeandDevelopingCountryAgriculture:AnOverviewofExpectedImpacts,AdaptationandMitigation
ChallengesandFundingRequirements.IssueBriefNo.2byJ.Keane,S.Page,A.Kergna,andJ.Kennan,December2009


• CarbonConcerns:HowStandardsandLabellingInitiativesMustnotLimitAgriculturalTradeFromDevelopingCountries.
IssueBriefNo.3,byJ.MacGregor,May2010


• TheRoleofInternationalTradeinClimateChangeAdaptation.
IssueBriefNo.4,byG.Nelson,A.Palazzo,C.Ringler,T.Susler,andM.Batka,December2009


• ClimateChangeandChina’sAgriculturalSector:AnOverviewofImpacts,AdaptationandMitigation.
IssueBriefNo.5byJ.Wang,J.Huang,andS.Rozelle,May2010


• AgriculturalTechnologiesforClimateChangeMitigationandAdaptationinDevelopingCountries:PolicyOptionsfor
InnovationandTechnologyDiffusion.IssueBriefNo.6byT.LybbertandD.Sumner,May2010


About the Organizations


The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Developmentwas established inGeneva in September1996 to contribute
to a better understanding of development and environment concerns in the context of international trade. As an independent non-
profitandnon-governmentalorganization,ICTSDengagesabroadrangeofactorsinongoingdialogueabouttradeandsustainable
development.With awide network of governmental, non-governmental and inter-governmental partners, ICTSDplays a unique
systemic role as a provider of original, non-partisan reporting and facilitation services at the intersection of international trade and
sustainabledevelopment.Moreinformationisavailableatwww.ictsd.org.


The International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council promotes a more open and equitable global food system by pursuing
pragmatic trade and development policies in food and agriculture to meet the world’s growing needs. IPC convenes influential
policymakers, agribusiness executives, farm leaders, and academics from developed and developing countries to clarify complex issues,
buildconsensus,andadvocatepoliciestodecision-makers.Moreinformationontheorganizationanditsmembershipcanbefoundon
ourwebsite:www.agritrade.org.




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