chapter  10
Environmental Certification: Standardization for Diversity: Tad Mutersbaugh and Dan Klooster
Pages 20

Prompted by ethical concerns, food safety scares and awareness of environmental issues such as biodiversity loss, grassroots organizations, industry coalitions, NGOs, governmental agencies and transnational institutions have contributed to the development of production standards, auditing processes and certification systems. Among the best-known of these are organic certification of agriculture and food processing, Fair Trade, and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approach to the environmental certification of forests.These instruments combine a set of defined social and/or environmental standards, an auditing and certification procedure, and a label indicating that certified products come from fields, forests, fisheries and/or factories where production practices meet the required standards (Mutersbaugh et al, 2005). Certification serves multiple purposes. Environmental NGOs look to certification to influence and regulate global production systems in ways that national governments either can’t, or won’t. Producers utilize certification to protect their livelihoods against the pressures of global commodity chains.