Governance of agro-pesticide through private environmental and social standards in the global cut flower chain from Ethiopia

B.T. Mengistie*, A.P.J. Mol, P.J.M. Oosterveer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The international cut flower industry is strongly criticized because of its environmental impacts and unsafe working conditions. Increasing certification of cut flowers is used to improve the growers’ environmental and social performance. But what is the impact of this private governance instrument on regulating the use of pesticides? This paper assesses the potential of private
certification on governing the environmental and social problems from pesticide use along the global cut flower supply chain. We use detailed farm-level data to analyse the environmental and social impacts of flower certification in Ethiopia by comparing different national and international certification schemes. Our analysis does not show significant differences between these different private standards for most environmental and health and safety variables. The Ethiopian cut flower industry remains far from improving its sustainability performance through
private certification. However, certification schemes may enable farmers to have access to international markets and keep up their reputation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-811
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • cut flower
  • Ethiopia
  • pesticide
  • private certification

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