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Fair Trade and Environmental Certification

  • By: Dan Klooster
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Fair Trade and environmental certification refers to various labeling programs designed to bring accountability to globalized production systems that otherwise obscure a product's sources and conditions of production. Amid food safety scares, environmental concerns, and ethical convictions, consumers and activist groups increasingly turn to certification systems to identify a product's social and environmental qualities.

All certification systems involve standards, inspections, and a logo indicating that the product meets the standard. In the most influential certification projects, third-party auditors conduct inspections and grant the right to use certification logos. Many certification systems have also developed a network of independent organizations that govern inspections, license logos, and develop standards. Such certification networks constitute important new components of global neoliberal environmental policy.

There are a wide variety of environmental certification ...

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