Legitimizing informal markets: A case study of the dairy sector in Kenya
This brief (PDF) by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) reflects on informal dairy markets and their legitimization. It shows that in developing countries, perishable food is mostly sold in informal markets and does not meet national food safety standards. The brief argues that government regulation in informal markets has not improved food safety in the past and formalization does not guarantee safe food. New approaches, based on gradual improvements and an inclusive path to formalization, show greater promise. A scheme to train and legitimize dairy traders in Kenya has revealed benefits for public health, farmers, vendors and consumers. The authors plead that governments must withstand pressure from vested interests and show genuine commitment to supporting progressive, effective and inclusive policies if these are to be successful.