chains. It is but one of many efforts to develop standards under a broad “green” or sustainability umbrella. When complete, the content of GlobalGAP standards will be a set of good agricultural practices covering food safety, worker health, food quality, and environmental impact of production processes. The supermarket industry hopes that compliance with these standards will assure customers that they are working to achieve sustainability throughout the food system. The eventual goal is for all products sold in member stores to comply with GlobalGAP standards. As with USDA Organic, certification will be done by an independent organization or firm. Accreditation of these certifying agents will take place under the auspices of mostly government-supervised accreditation agencies in the respective countries where members of the consortium source products to be sold under the GlobalGAP standard. The relevant body in the United States is the American National Standards Institute, a private, not-for-profit organization that includes U.S. government agencies as members and is the official U.S. government representative to the ISO.
Like all sustainability standards developed to date, producer participation in GlobalGAP is technically voluntary. But to the extent that these standards become requisite for one’s products to appear on supermarket shelves, producers selling into commodity markets may find themselves with little choice but compliance. It is thus clear that if GlobalGAP decided to institute herbicide management procedures into its good agricultural practice requirements, this particular private process standard would very likely become even more effective than mandatory federal regulation in incentivizing rapid change in farmer behavior (Loconto and Busch, 2010). GlobalGAP or other standards would be instituted by downstream actors in the supply chain in order to bolster consumer confidence or to burnish their image as a “green” company. However, because of the power associated with integrated access to the processing system or retail markets, this standard would rapidly convert the idealized form of producer compliance into a reality (Busch, 2011b).
Animal Welfare. As with other areas reviewed above, process standards intended to address the welfare and well-being of agricultural animals are being developed under a number of distinct tripartite standards regimes. State agencies have been the primary actors in the European Union, though a number of retailers have attempted to establish standards for premium products that could be offered at higher prices. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), such as the American Humane Association, have been active in the United States, but an effort by a producer organization, the United Egg Producers (UEP), is of particular interest. Following an action by the McDonald’s corporation in 1998 requiring egg suppliers to meet standards for hen welfare that had been developed by an independent committee of experts, UEP convened its own scientific committee to recommend standards, which were adopted by the UEP Producer Committee in 2000. At first initiation, the UEP welfare standard primarily addressed space requirements computed on a per-bird basis, which were increased by nearly 50 percent of typical industry practice at the time. Standards since have been revised and updated to address noncage production systems and other production practices, such as induced molting through feed withdrawal (Mench, 2008).
The UEP standard for hen welfare was voluntary, however. To incentivize compliance, UEP developed a label, eventually call “UEP Approved,” which could only be applied to eggs produced in compliance with the standard. Certification was undertaken by