Which Way is "Up" in Upgrading?

Trajectories of Change in the Value Chain for South African Wine

Stefano Ponte, Joachim Ewert

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Global Value Chain (GVC) analysis uses the concept of upgrading to highlight paths for developing country firms to "move up the value chain," usually through the lenses of four categories-product, process, functional, and inter-sectoral upgrading. The implicit normative expectation is that these firms move toward producing higher value-added products and/or take on more sophisticated functions along a value chain. In this article, upgrading is approached more broadly as "reaching a better deal," including a balance between rewards and risk. The case study of South African wine shows that better product quality, improved processes, and some functional upgrading have co-existed with processes of "downgrading," higher risks, and limited rewards, especially in traditional export markets. A reflection on further conceptual development and directions for empirical research is also provided.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Development
Volume37
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1637-1650
Number of pages14
ISSN0305-750X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Upgrading
  • Global Value Chain (GVC) analysis
  • Wine
  • South Africa

Cite this

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Which Way is "Up" in Upgrading? Trajectories of Change in the Value Chain for South African Wine. / Ponte, Stefano; Ewert, Joachim.

In: World Development, Vol. 37, No. 10, 2009, p. 1637-1650.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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