Do private sustainability standards contribute to income growth and poverty alleviation? A comparison of different coffee certification schemes in Ethiopia

Fikadu Mitiku*, Yann de Mey, Jan Nyssen, Miet Maertens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Private sustainability standards are increasingly important in food trade with developing countries, but the implications for smallholder farmers are still poorly understood. We analyze the implications of different coffee certification schemes in Ethiopia using cross-sectional survey data, and regression and propensity-score-matching techniques. We find that: Rainforest Alliance (RA) and double Fairtrade-Organic (FT-Org) certifications are associated with higher incomes and reduced poverty, mainly because of higher prices; Fairtrade (FT) certification hardly affects welfare; and Organic (Org) certification reduces incomes, chiefly due to lower yields. Cooperative heterogeneity importantly shapes these results. Results imply that private standards may not always deliver what they promise to consumers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number246
JournalSustainability
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Coffee certification
  • Ethiopia
  • Global value chains
  • Poverty impact
  • Private standards
  • Sustainability standards

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