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This chapter examines pangasius catfish aquaculture in Vietnam in the context of changing social relations of production, European consumer trends and regulation. In particular we are interested in how the rise of 'sociotechnical' environmental regulatory networks in the form of quality standards and third-party certififcation have altered power relations between consumers and producers across global space.
Certification is an increasingly pervasive form of market governance through which retailers and NGOs are able to exert control over producers of primary products in order to secure their commercial and institutional interests. This paper assesses the likely outcomes of emerging certification standards intended to govern production of a new global commodity, Pangasius catfish.
The growth of intensive export-oriented Pangasius catfish production in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is unparalleled in terms of rapidity and scale by any other agricultural sector, with production climbing from a low base to more than 1 million tons in a single decade.