Sylvaine Lemeilleur


Researcher in Institutional Economics, CIRAD 

Sylvaine Lemeilleur holds a PhD in development economics from the University of Montpellier and a master's degree in agronomy with a specialization in tropical agriculture from Montpellier Supagro. Since 2009, she is a research fellow in the "Environments and Society" department of the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) within the UMR MoISA in Montpellier.  

Her research focuses on transformations in food systems, new institutional arrangements and their socio-economic impacts in terms of inclusion/exclusion of small-scale producers. Among these transformations, she works mainly on sustainable development standards and labels as increasingly important regulatory tools in the agricultural and food sector. More recently, she is developing research works on participatory guarantee systems (PGS) as a form of governance for the management of knowledge common-pool resources.

Her interest in participatory approaches is both: as research objectives and as research methods for the active involvement of the different actors concerned. These qualitative methods complement her previous work using more quantitative methods. She has conducted fieldwork on 5 continents but focuses most of her research on food systems in Africa and Latin America.

She is a member of the PGS committee of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM- Organics International) and an active member of the French network of fair trade researchers (FairNESS).

Fields of Research 


Areas of expertise & research projects

Participatory research on participatory guarantee systems

2020-2023: COMPAIRS project "Peer certification for eco-solidarity quality: co-construction of an intellectual commons" coordinated by CIRAD, financed by ADEME and Agropolis fondation, in the framework of the CO3 programme (co-construction of knowledge). Coordination of the project.

2020 - 2023: IIABA Project "Institutional Innovation for Organic Agriculture in Africa" coordinated by Afronet, financed by AFD in the framework of the FISONG program. Involved in WP3: Innovating to guarantee organic quality (Morocco, Tanzania, Uganda).

2020 - 2023: "Sustainable Territories" project coordinated by CIRAD, financed by the Ministry of Overseas France. Co-construct solutions for pesticide reduction in Martinique, Guadeloupe and Reunion. Involved in WP4 -Valorization of territory and products through participatory certification.

2019: Consultancy service "Review and update existing PGS technical manual" for the PGS Vietnam, financed by Rikolto International.  

2019 French research project C03 (Co-construction des connaissances)"Which peer-review for "eco-solidarity" quality assessment? towards building a national network" in partnership with Nature & Progrès and LISODE, financed by ADEME, Fondation de France, Agropolis Fondation and the fondation Charles Léopold Mayer . Coordination of the project.

2018-2020 : French research project Surfood-Urbal « Building and testing a participatory method to identify possible impacts of urban innovations on the sustainability of food systems »

2018-2019 : Moroccan development project « Marketing support for agro-ecological farms through the implementation of a Participatory Guarantee System», financed by Fondation Crédit Agricole du Maroc pour le Développement Durable (FCAM), realized with Réseau des Initiatives Agroécologiques du Maroc (RIAM)

Study of the socio-economic impact of standards and certifications on producers in the South

2014-2016: International project "Measuring and Assessing Impacts of Fair Trade for All on farmers, farmworkers and the overall Fair Trade Market System"

2013-2014: French project AFD « What can be expected from the standardisation of biodiversity conservation issues in Overseas France? The example of certification »

2012-2014: French research project ANR Global Environmental Change « Prigoue » : Privatizing Global Environmental Governance? The roles of multi-stakeholders standards initiatives for global environmental change mitigation.

2009-2011: European project « Non-Tariff Measures Impact»: Analyzing the effects from non-tariff measures in the global agri-food trade. Case study in the mango supply chain in Peru (WP7).

Study of the dynamics of food value chains

2015-2017: French project AFD « food distribution systems and the role of markets in Sub-Saharan African and Mediterranean countries »

2005-2008: International project « Regoverning Markets »: Analyzing growing concentration in the processing and retail sectors of national and regional agri-food systems and its impacts and implications for rural livelihoods and communities in middle and low income countries. Case study in the fruit and vegetable supply chain in Turkey.


Scientific activities


May 2018 - May 2020: Out-posted at the LITOPAD laboratory of the Faculty of Letters and Humanities of Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco.

Reviewer for:

World Development, Food Policy, Journal of Rural Studies; Agricultural Economics, Agriculture and Human Value, J. of Development and Agri.Economics, International Food and Agribusiness Managment Review, Revue française de Socio-Economie, Journal of Rural Studies et Cahiers Agricultures




2021 - ... : Co-supervisor of Philippe Ninnin : "Characterization of common property regimes within Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) for the labeling of Organic Agriculture" (Ministry of Research Grant, at CIRAD,)

2017-2021 : Co-supervisor of Claire Dorville : « Governing the Knowledge Commons: the case of participatory guarantee systems to manage eco-labels in France and Brazil" (Ministry of Research Grant, at CIRAD, in partnership with Nature et Progrès), defended on September 28, 2021.


• 2014-2018 : Co-supervisor of Ninon Sirdey : "Impact of Fair Trade on the food security of certified producers? Application in coffee growing communities in Peru" (Ministry of Research Grant, at CIRAD), defended on September 13, 2018. Doctoral prize awarded by the UNESCO World Food Chair, Montpellier.



• Univ. of Montpellier 1 and Supagro: Master ECODEVA - Coordination and Lectures on "Institutional Economics" since 2015

• Univ. of Montpellier 1 and Supagro: Master A2D2 - Coordination of the seminar "Institutions and Developement" since 2015




Il semble que vous naviguiez depuis un appareil de type 'bureau'

Tester plus en détail