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The Economic Sustainability of Certified Coffee: Recent Evidence from Mexico and Peru

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  • Barham, Bradford L.
  • Weber, Jeremy G.

Abstract

Consumers increasingly act on preferences for a more just and sustainable world by purchasing certified agricultural products. Using survey data from coffee growers in Mexico and Peru, we explore the economic sustainability of certified coffee, looking at conventional, Fair Trade/organic, and Rainforest Alliance certified growers. The analysis reveals that yields rather than price premiums are most important for increasing net cash returns for coffee growing households. Given the link between net returns and producer participation in certified coffee schemes, the findings suggest that certification norms that permit improving yields are essential for improving grower welfare and attracting and maintaining growers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 40 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1269-1279

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:6:p:1269-1279

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

Related research

Keywords: Latin American; Peru; Mexico; certified coffee; Fair Trade; organic; sustainability;

References

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  1. Weber, Jeremy G., 2011. "How much more do growers receive for Fair Trade-organic coffee?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 678-685.
  2. Blackman, Allen & Albers, Heidi J. & Ávalos Sartorio, Beatriz & Crooks, Lisa, 2007. "Land Cover in a Managed Forest Ecosystem: Mexican Shade Coffee," Discussion Papers dp-07-30, Resources For the Future.
  3. Beuchelt, Tina D. & Zeller, Manfred, 2011. "Profits and poverty: Certification's troubled link for Nicaragua's organic and fairtrade coffee producers," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1316-1324, May.
  4. Kazianga, Harounan & Udry, Christopher, 2006. "Consumption smoothing? Livestock, insurance and drought in rural Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 413-446, April.
  5. Valkila, Joni, 2009. "Fair Trade organic coffee production in Nicaragua -- Sustainable development or a poverty trap?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 3018-3025, October.
  6. Kitti, Mitri & Heikkilä, Jaakko & Huhtala, Anni, 2009. "‘Fair’ policies for the coffee trade – protecting people or biodiversity?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(06), pages 739-758, December.
  7. Bacon, Christopher, 2005. "Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Can Fair Trade, Organic, and Specialty Coffees Reduce Small-Scale Farmer Vulnerability in Northern Nicaragua?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 497-511, March.
  8. Gobbi, Jose A., 2000. "Is biodiversity-friendly coffee financially viable? An analysis of five different coffee production systems in western El Salvador," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 267-281, May.
  9. Bacon, Christopher M. & Mendez, Ernesto & Fox, Jonathan A, 2008. "Cultivating Sustainable Coffee: Persistent Paradoxes," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt5hb7421j, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  10. Barham, Bradford L. & Callenes, Mercedez & Gitter, Seth & Lewis, Jessa & Weber, Jeremy, 2011. "Fair Trade/Organic Coffee, Rural Livelihoods, and the "Agrarian Question": Southern Mexican Coffee Families in Transition," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 134-145, January.
  11. Perfecto, Ivette & Vandermeer, John & Mas, Alex & Pinto, Lorena Soto, 2005. "Biodiversity, yield, and shade coffee certification," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 435-446, September.
  12. Ninan, K.N. & Sathyapalan, Jyothis, 2005. "The economics of biodiversity conservation: a study of a coffee growing region in the Western Ghats of India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 61-72, October.
  13. Laura Raynolds & Douglas Murray & Andrew Heller, 2007. "Regulating sustainability in the coffee sector: A comparative analysis of third-party environmental and social certification initiatives," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 147-163, June.
  14. Giovannucci, Daniele & Byers, Alice & Liu, Pascal, 2008. "Adding Value: Certified Coffee Trade in North America," MPRA Paper 17174, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Bolwig, Simon & Gibbon, Peter & Jones, Sam, 2009. "The Economics of Smallholder Organic Contract Farming in Tropical Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1094-1104, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Takahashi, Ryo & Todo, Yasuyuki, 2013. "Impact of a Shade Coffee Certification Program on Forest Conservation:A Case Study from a Wild Coffee Forest in Ethiopia," Working Papers 55, JICA Research Institute.
  2. Balineau, Gaëlle, 2013. "Disentangling the Effects of Fair Trade on the Quality of Malian Cotton," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 241-255.
  3. Linda Kleemann & Awudu Abdulai & Mareike Buss, 2013. "Is Organic Farming Worth its Investment? The Adoption and Impact of Certified Pineapple Farming in Ghana," Kiel Working Papers 1856, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Linda Kleemann & Awudu Abdulai, 2012. "Organic Certification, Agro-Ecological Practices and Return on Investment: Farm Level Evidence from Ghana," Kiel Working Papers 1816, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Kleemann, Linda & Abdulai, Awudu, 2013. "Organic certification, agro-ecological practices and return on investment: Evidence from pineapple producers in Ghana," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 330-341.
  6. Dammert, Ana C. & Mohan, Sarah, 2014. "A Survey of the Economics of Fair Trade," IZA Discussion Papers 8167, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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