Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development vol:4 issue:1 pages:47-61
The importance of food standards in global trade has increased sharply. It is argued that these standards imposed by high-income countries diminish the export opportunities for developing countries and lead to an unequal distribution of the gains from trade, resulting in the marginalization of poorer farmers and small agri-food businesses. In this paper we critically review the arguments and empirical evidence on the link between increasing food standards, developing country exports and welfare in those countries; and provide new insights from two original case-studies. We conclude that the empirical evidence is often weaker than claimed and that high-standards agricultural trade can be an engine of pro-poor export-led growth in developing countries.