Coffee certification in East Africa: Impact on farms, families and cooperatives

R. Ruben, Paul Hoebink

Research output: Book/ReportBook editingAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Certification of coffee producers is frequently suggested as a promising strategy for improving the position of smallholder farmers in the market. After the launch of the first Fairtrade label in 1988, several other standards have been promoted either by voluntary agencies (Utz-certified) or by private coffee companies. Each coffee label relies on different strategies for enhancing sustainable production and responsible trade. Coffee certification in East Africa is of a rather recent nature but has been rapidly expanding, representing currently 26 percent of the world's sustainable certified coffee supply. Marketing channels, cooperative organisation and household structures show notable differences between Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Empirical studies on the effects of standards for smallholders are scarce. This book intends to deepen our understanding on the role and functions of coffee certification regimes, based on three innovative approaches: (1) longitudinal field survey data capturing changes in coffee farming systems and effects on household welfare; (2) in-depth interviews and behavioural experiments regarding risk attitudes, trust and investments at cooperative level; and (3) detailed discourse analyses regarding gender roles and female bargaining power within coffee households. The chapters included in this book provide new and original evidence about the impact of coffee certification based on large-scale field surveys and in-depth interviews.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages264
ISBN (Electronic)9789086868056
ISBN (Print)9789086862559
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • certification
  • coffee
  • small farms
  • labelling
  • sustainability
  • farming systems
  • east africa

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Coffee certification in East Africa: Impact on farms, families and cooperatives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this