Stakeholder participation and inclusion
One potential benefit of Beyond Certification approaches to promoting sustainable commodity production is their potential to strengthen stakeholder ownership and legitimacy in focal production sites, thereby strengthening the legitimacy of sustainability interventions while also amplifying the effectiveness of such initiatives by embedding change within local business and governance systems.
To this extent, Beyond Certification approaches may offer an important tool for addressing widely perceived shortcomings of supply chain certification schemes, which have often been criticised for their lack of connection to local governments, farmers, communities and other stakeholders.
Yet in practice, it is not clear to what extent these scaled-up initiatives are offering meaningful new spaces for the participation of marginalised and excluded stakeholders, or to what extent they remain dominated by established powerholders at both transnational and domestic governance scales.
To explore this issue, a major theme for our research involves investigation of dynamics of stakeholder participation and exclusion within Beyond Certification initiatives.