Upgrading products, upgrading work? Interorganizational learning in global food value chains to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Global value chains have the potential of contributing to the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In agriculture, the integration of producers into food value chains has created new employment in farming and processing, although it may also lead to precarious jobs, forced labor, and riskier environments for farmers and workers. The “upgrading” concept put forward by value chain researchers claims to address these concerns as it describes how producers can improve their position within a value chain, and hence, their livelihoods. The paper critically evaluates the conceptual foundation of “upgrading” and its applicability in food value chain governance for the realization of SDGs related to responsible production and decent work. An overlooked element contributing to upgrading and the achievement of these SDGs is learning among value chain actors. The paper argues how the shortcomings in the concept can be addressed in practice through interorganizational learning in multi-stakeholder platforms.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2019
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