Pepper grows in a field surrounded by and filled with bamboo poles to act as a trelis

Pepper plantation in Myanmar

Photo: Dominique Guenat
BFH-HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute
Publication article

Smart Mixes for Sustainable Value Chain Management: An Evaluation of the Conflict Minerals, Palm Oil, and Green Bonds Sectors

Fragmented governance of international value chains, operating in multiple jurisdictions, is insufficient to prevent social and environmental mismanagement. Smart Mixes, which are combinations of compulsory and voluntary measures, have been proposed as a possible means of securing environmental and social standards, but the concept has not been operationalized in the academic literature. The results suggest that Smart Mixes are effective when they cover a specific issue under conditions in which enforcement mechanisms create a level playing field: thereby aligning public and private sector interests. The keys to success in a Smart Mix include positive interactions, harmonization, and complementary and supportive measures, which combine to motivate engagement by the private sector. We conclude that Smart Mixes can contribute to sustainability in value chains but their effectiveness is dependent on the strength of the relationships between the measures that compose them.

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