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Transnational Supermarket Standards in Global Supply Chains

The Emergence and Evolution of GlobalGAP

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2011
Auteurs Jaap Van der Kloet
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    In recent years, West European supermarkets have been playing an active role in the global regulation of food safety. They have developed several transnational food safety standards and compelled suppliers of food products around the world to acquire certification under these standards. Why and how did supermarkets do this? This article explores the emergence and evolution of transnational supermarket standards by analyzing the development of GlobalGAP, one of the most commonly implemented supermarket standards on farms throughout the world. In the literature, the emergence of transnational regulation is often attributed to one or two factors that play an important role at a particular moment in time. The main argument made in this article is that the emergence of transnational supermarket standards is best understood when it is studied as a process. The development of GlobalGAP includes four main characteristics which may be helpful in analyzing the emergence of other transnational private standards.


Jaap Van der Kloet
Jaap Van der Kloet is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Sociology of Law of the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His PhD research focuses on comparing the social working of transnational private food safety standards between local farmers in the Netherlands and Kenya. He has a Master’s degree in International Development Studies. He worked as junior researcher at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as project leader at the Dutch NGO Fairfood.
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