Doing but not knowing: how apple farmers comply with standards in China

Agriculture and Human Values 36 (1):61-75 (2019)

Are public and private standards affecting farmer knowledge and moving farm practices toward food safety and environmental sustainability in China? We surveyed 355 apple farmers involved in chains supplying a diversity of retailing points, including supermarkets. Using a multivariate regression model, we find no measurable evidence that the certification schemes of farm bases and agribusiness companies lead to improved apple growers’ knowledge regarding pest and disease management. The observed behavioral changes are mainly prompted by delegated decision-making towards leaders of farm bases, which raises questions on the long-term changes in farmers’ practices and on the fundamental values and ethics of China’s agrofood system that is governed through the standards.
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DOI 10.1007/s10460-018-9886-0
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