Natalie Langford is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at SPERI. She joined the University of Sheffield in January 2019. Prior to this she was a lecturer in the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. Natalie completed her PhD thesis, entitled ‘The Emergence of Southern Social Standards in Emerging Markets’ at the University of Manchester in 2018. Her thesis explored the politics of governance within India’s tea industry through the case study of Trustea, a new private social standard for tea consumed domestically. Prior to that, she worked in the NGO sector on issues related to labour and global development.

Natalie leads SPERI’s Labour & Decent Work research theme with Genevieve LeBaron and Ellie Gore.

Research Interests

Natalie’s research focuses on the ways through which spatial and temporal shifts in the geographies of trade, production and consumption impact on the governance of labour. She is particularly concerned with how recent transformations under global capitalism have impacted on the rights and conditions of labourers and producers.

Her current project investigates the impact of Brexit upon the UK food industry; particularly in relation to migrant and domestic workers. The project explores the ways through which changes in immigration policy affect the sector, and how business, state and civil society actors seek to shape the governance of labour in the context of shifting trade arrangements between the UK and the EU.

Key Publications


  • Langford, N. (2019) The Governance of Social Standards in Emerging Markets: an exploration of actors and interests shaping Trustea as a Southern multi-stakeholder initiative. Geoforum