Value-adding Standards in the North American Food Market: Trade Opportunities in Certified Products for Developing Countries

Alice Byers, Daniele Giovannucci and Pascal Liu

This publication analyzes the use of voluntary standards and certification schemes in the food markets of the United States and Canada.

With its large population and its high individual purchasing power, North America provides considerable opportunities for developing country exports of value added agricultural products. Consumers are increasingly attentive to the social and environmental aspects of food production as evidenced by the significant expansion of certified food sales in both natural food stores and mainstream supermarket chains. The publication assesses the volumes, trends, and market opportunities for the most popular voluntary standards and focuses on environmental and social certification schemes such as organic and fair trade that use a registered on product label targeting consumers. Tropical fruits, coffee, and cocoa are the main product categories examined.