Bridging Global Standard Requirements and Local Famer Needs: Implementing Parterns of the Better Cotton Initiative in Pakistan and India

Peter Lund-Thomsen, Lone Riisgaard, Neil M. Coe, Sukhpal Singh, Shakil Ghori

Research output: Working paperResearch

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In recent years, collaborative multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) between private sector companies and civil society organizations have sought to find common solutions to sustainability challenges related to cotton, timber, and other raw materials, as well as hazardous work conditions in industries such as garments, textiles, and leather production. In this article, we contribute to the MSI literature by conceptualizing how intermediate standard implementing organizations deal with organizational tensions as street level bureaucrats, theorizing their differential capacity to navigate between two sets of competing pressures inherent to MSI standards: (1) upscaling in volume terms and maintaining the stringency of the standard; and (2) farmer capacity building and auditing approaches. Empirically, we analyze how intermediary standard implementing organizations of a particular MSI, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), mediate between these global sustainability standards pressures and the needs of farmers in Pakistan and India. We conclude that this process of mediating between global standards and local farmer needs results in a situation whereby BCI intermediate standard implementing organizations increasingly spend time on data gathering exercises instead of enabling farmers to comply with the standard through capacity building.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [wp]
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesCBDS Working Paper
Number1, 2018

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