What Makes Farmers Follow the Standard? The Role of Regional Characteristics, Local Alternatives, and Policy Support in Non-State Market Driven Governance in the Arava, Israel

  • Tzruya Calvao Chebach Porter School of Environmental Studies, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Amit Ashkenazy Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
  • Anat Tchetchik Department of Environmental Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.
  • Vered Blass Porter School of Environmental Studies, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Keywords: sustainable farming, GlobalGAP, NSMD, IPM, Israel


Supermarkets have become a major actor in driving a shift to more sustainable agricultural practices throughout the agri-food value chains, using certification schemes and other instruments known as non-state market driven (NSMD) governance. This paper explores what factors may affect farmers’ willingness to join such mechanism once it is in place, based on the case study of pepper growers in the Arava region in southern Israel. Based on an extensive farmers survey and interviews with other stakeholders in the region, we find that regional characteristics such as export dependency, homogeneity in regional production patterns, prior experience and farm level awareness are tied with NSMD adoption. Adoption is also made possible by the availability of services offering alternative practices to the farmers, and the different ways public policy supports the shift, and in turn is affected by it.


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