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Original Article

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Abstract Several methods are used to evaluate competitiveness, but the non-inclusion of quality measures, despite their importance in international product markets, gives less credence to such assessments. This study evaluates export competitiveness in the cocoa sector from the context of pesticide regulations. Such regulations are now increasingly common, due to their perceived benefits for humans, animals, and the environment. The results of our study show that cocoa-exporting countries stand to derive more earnings if standards are harmonized at the Codex level. Adherence to international standards, as reflected in large standard-scaled trade values, enhances competitiveness: yet compliance capacity must be matched with a sustainable increase in output for higher competitiveness. In addition to stepping up advocacy for the adoption of the Codex standard or its variants, cocoa-exporting countries need to diversify into different markets to balance quality and quantity requirements for improved earnings.

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Economics Commons