Research by Fabrizio Meliado, ICTSD
Private standard schemes have become a constitutive element of international commercial transactions, as well as powerful tools to mainstream environmental, social, and economic sustainability requirements in economic operations. This paper analyses private standard schemes as management tools used to shift risks, costs, and responsibilities along global value chains. It argues that policymakers can facilitate the trade-creating potential of private standard schemes by acting in concert – at the international level – on their design and operation. The author further reviews relevant multilateral and bilateral work in this area and puts forward six policy options to support concerted governmental action on private standards.