Governing the transnational organic cotton network from Benin

L.C. Glin, A.P.J. Mol, P.J.M. Oosterveer, S. Vodouhè

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we attempt to conceptualize the historical development and the governance structure of the transnational organic cotton network from Benin. We aim to discover how the organic cotton production-consumption network is governed locally and internationally. Existing bodies of literature on international agricultural production networks, in particular the Global Value Chains (GVC) perspective, focus on economic dimensions, but find it difficult to incorporate the sustainability dimension. We favour widening the concept of GVCs beyond economics by acknowledging and including environmental rationalities and the representatives of their interests, not as external elements, but rather as co-governing or co-structuring factors (or actors) of sustainable value chains. Our findings reveal that beyond the traditional producer versus buyer dualism, intermediate stakeholders, namely transnational and local environmental NGO networks, are instrumental in the construction, maintenance and transformation of the organic cotton network. It is also apparent that farmers' leaders play an important role in mediating and (re)building trust among organic farmers, though they exert insufficient vertical power in the organic cotton network to control it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-354
JournalGlobal Networks
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • environmental governance
  • political-economy
  • globalization
  • commodity
  • forests
  • food


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