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The State of Sustainable Coffee: A Study of Twelve Major Markets


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  • Giovannucci, Daniele
  • Koekoek, Freek Jan


The State of Sustainable Coffee provides the first comprehensive overview of the market conditions facing, organic, fair trade and shade grown or eco-friendly coffees (termed 'sustainable' coffees). It outlines the volumes, trends, distribution channels, major players, and price premiums in 12 nations across Europe and Japan, as a companion to an earlier North American report. While some common parallels exist, such as the priority for consistency and quality standards, the substantial inter-market differences emphasize the need to approach each country and sometimes each distribution channel with an appreciation for its unique distinctions. Overall, the striking emergence and growth of sustainable coffees has catapulted them quickly from a small niche industry to become a significant part of the mainstream market. Their growth has consistently eclipsed the growth rate of conventional coffee for more than a decade. As a result of their strict environmental and social standards, improved governance structures, better farm management, and price premiums, these sustainability initiatives are facilitating not only rural development but also agricultural trade competitiveness for developing nations. In agriculture, it is the coffee sector that has arguably developed the most advanced experience with certified organic, fair trade, and eco-friendly products that are now shipped from more than half of the coffee exporting nations. A number of other goods ranging from commodities such as tea and sugar to meats, fruits and vegetables are following the coffee sector's innovative sustainability models. Although these sustainably produced products are not a panacea, they offer one of the few bright spots in developing country agricultural trade and provide considerable direct benefits to the more than one million coffee producing families that participate. The book was published jointly by IISD, the International Coffee Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development with the support of the International Development Research Centre and the World Bank.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 17172.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17172

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Related research

Keywords: coffee; sustainable; standards; organic; fair trade; Rainforest Alliance; Starbucks; agriculture markets; supply chains; distribution channels; small farmers; eco-friendly; certifications; developing country; Europe; Japan; sustainability trends;

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  1. Giovannucci, Daniele & Reardon, Thomas, 2000. "Understanding Grades and Standards: and how to apply them," MPRA Paper 13549, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Gavin Fridell, 2009. "The Co-Operative and the Corporation: Competing Visions of the Future of Fair Trade," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 81-95, April.
  2. Sylvaine Poret & Claire Chambolle, 2007. "Fair Trade: In or Out the Market?," Working Papers hal-00243062, HAL.
  3. repec:idb:brikps:21998 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Jean-Marie Codron & Lucie Sirieix & Thomas Reardon, 2005. "Social and Environmental Attributes of Food Products in an Emerging Mass Market : Challenges of Signaling and Consumer Perception, With European Illustrations," Industrial Organization 0512002, EconWPA.
  5. Giovannucci, Daniele & Potts, Jason & Killian, B. & Wunderlich, C. & Schuller, S. & Soto, G. & Schroeder, K. & Vagneron, I. & Pinard, F., 2008. "Seeking Sustainability: COSA preliminary analysis of sustainability initiatives in the coffee sector," MPRA Paper 13401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Nuva & Yusif & Nia Kurniawati H. & Hanna, 2013. "Impact of Eco-Labelling on Indonesia's Smallholder Coffee Farmers," EEPSEA Research Report rr2013032, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Mar 2013.
  7. 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.
  8. Nil Özçağlar-Toulouse & Amina Béji-Bécheur & Patrick Murphy, 2009. "Fair Trade in France: From Individual Innovators to Contemporary Networks," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 90(4), pages 589-606, December.
  9. Kilian, Bernard & Jones, Connie & Pratt, Lawrence & Villalobos, Andres, 2006. "Is sustainable agriculture a viable strategy to improve farm income in Central America? A case study on coffee," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 322-330, March.
  10. Pierre Kohler, 2006. "The Economics of Fair Trade: For Whose Benefit? An Investigation into the Limits of Fair Trade as a Development Tool and the Risk of Clean-Washing," IHEID Working Papers 06-2007, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Oct 2006.
  11. Langen, Nina & Grebitus, Carola & Hartmann, Monika, 2010. "Is there Need for more Transparency and Efficiency in Cause‐related Marketing?," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 1(4).
  12. Bode, Reinhild, 2007. "Qualität statt Masse: Spezialkaffee als Ansatz für eine öko-faire Gestaltung der Wertschöpfungskette," Wuppertal Papers 165, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy.
  13. Catturani, I. & Nocella, Giuseppe & Romano, Donato & Stefani, Gianluca, 2008. "Segmenting the Italian coffee market: marketing opportunities for economic agents working along the international coffee chain," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44146, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  14. Fred A. Yamoah, 2014. "An Exploratory Study of Marketing Factors Influencing Fairtrade Food Buying Behaviour in the UK," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 4(1), pages 13-23.
  15. 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.
  16. Coulibaly, Mantiaba, 2010. "Relationship in a fair trade market: how to create and manage value," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5232, Paris Dauphine University.
  17. Giovannucci, Daniele & Ponte, Stefano, 2005. "Standards as a new form of social contract? Sustainability initiatives in the coffee industry," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 284-301, June.
  18. Verdonk, M. & Dieperink, C. & Faaij, A.P.C., 2007. "Governance of the emerging bio-energy markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 3909-3924, July.
  19. Ronchi, Loraine, 2006. "Fairtrade and market failures in agricultural commodity markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4011, The World Bank.
  20. Muradian, Roldan & Pelupessy, Wim, 2005. "Governing the coffee chain: The role of voluntary regulatory Systems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2029-2044, December.
  21. Brigitte Granville, 2009. "Trust In Fairtrade: The 'Feel-Good' Effect," Working Papers 27, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  22. Dilek PENPECE, 2014. "Demografik Deðiþkenler ve Dizi Türünün Dizi Tanýtým Mecralarýna Etkisi Üzerine Bir Araþtýrma," Isletme ve Iktisat Calismalari Dergisi, Econjournals, vol. 2(1), pages 1-10.
  23. Sauvée, Loïc & Coulibaly, Mantiaba, 2010. "Building the legitimacy of business networks through certification: The development of differentiated relationships," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5234, Paris Dauphine University.
  24. Giovannucci, Daniele & Byers, Alice & Liu, Pascal, 2008. "Adding Value: Certified Coffee Trade in North America," MPRA Paper 17174, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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