Dynamics of Sustainability Adoption and Certification in the Wine GVC: A Comparative Case Study of Australia and Chile

Judith Schöpfner & Elena Marola

Student thesis: Master thesis


This study investigates how sustainability practices evolve in emerging industries and what the impact is on the potential for sustainability uptake and certification. We combine the existing literature on Global Value Chains and Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives, and link these aspects to the question of how industry mechanisms interact with internal dynamics of companies to lead to sustainability uptake and certification. The process tracing method is applied to test the hypotheses identified in the multiscale comparative case study of the sustainable wine industries in Australia and Chile, based on 29 interviews with wine companies and experts in the two countries as well as secondary research. This study fits into the growing but still disjointed literature about sustainability in the wine industry, and it adds on to it, growing the theories through exploratory research in Australia and Chile. In particular, our contribution to the literature is first, the finding that a distinction should be made between sustainability compliance and certification, because the reasons motivating these are different; second, that collective action is important to achieve convergence in sustainability practices and a joint certification scheme, but that it does not influence sustainability adoption; and third, that certain conditions need to be met for collective action to achieve high levels, such as e.g. support by one representative body to foster collaboration.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages555
SupervisorsKristjan Jespersen