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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Governance and Images: Representations of Certified Southern Producers in High-Quality Design Markets

Anja Nygren

Environmental Values 24 (2015): 391-412. doi: 10.3197/096327114X13947900181798


This article analyses the representational politics of global commodity networks, where certified forest products are produced and consumed, approaching them as complex forms of governance in which diverse actors, images, conventions and values interact. The study draws upon a case study of certified Honduran community forestry groups producing furniture and kitchenware for Danish design markets. Special focus is on the forms of negotiation and contestation through which the different actors mediate the representations and imagery circulating in the marketing of certified products and on their differential access to control and power. The research illustrates how leading retailers, in negotiation with environmental organisations, modify definitions of quality and guide consumers' expectations of certified southern forest products, by building images of southern community forest producers as authentic and exotic 'others'. The article concludes that certification as a market-based form of governance has had only limited impact on altering the unequal relationships characteristic of global networks of production and consumption.


Community forestry, certification, governance, images, values

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Realms of Value: Conflicting Natural Resource Values and Incommensurability. Sarah Fleisher Trainor

Valuation Contests over the Commoditisation of the Moabi Tree in South-Eastern Cameroon. Sandra Veuthey and Jean-François Gerber

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Democratic and Practical Engagements with Environmental Values. Alex Loftus

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