Intersectoral Partnerships in global commodity chains

Ph.D. researcher: V. Bitzer defended her thesis on 25 February, 2011.

This thesis analyses the capacity of partnerships to promote sustainable change in global agricultural commodity chains, and reflects on partnerships from a governance and a development perspective. The global coffee, cotton and cocoa chains serve as main fields of application for the empirical analysis. Viewed from a governance perspective, partnerships create and seek to mainstream new practices, which focus on technological change and performance at the production level. While many partnerships promote standards as competitive strategies to safeguard the application of the new practices, other partnerships link up in networks and exchange resources to facilitate sustainable change. However, from a development perspective the capacity of partnerships to promote sustainable change remains limited. Benefits for producers are often uncertain as partnerships largely operate in a business-driven and top-down mode, and do not address certain development concerns, such as the empowerment of producer organizations.