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Does eco-certification have environmental benefits? Organic coffee in Costa Rica

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  • Blackman, Allen
  • Naranjo, Maria A.

Abstract

Eco-certification of coffee, timber and other high-value agricultural commodities is increasingly widespread. In principle, it can improve commodity producers' environmental performance, even in countries where state regulation is weak. But eco-certification will have limited environmental benefits if, as one would expect, it disproportionately selects for producers already meeting certification standards. Rigorous evaluations of the environmental effects of eco-certification in developing countries that control for selection bias are virtually nonexistent. To help fill this gap, we use detailed farm-level data to analyze the environmental impacts of organic coffee certification in central Costa Rica. We use propensity score matching to control for selection bias. We find that organic certification improves coffee growers' environmental performance. It significantly reduces chemical input use and increases adoption of some environmentally friendly management practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Blackman, Allen & Naranjo, Maria A., 2012. "Does eco-certification have environmental benefits? Organic coffee in Costa Rica," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 58-66.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:83:y:2012:i:c:p:58-66
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.08.001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Eco-certification; Coffee; Central America; Costa Rica; Propensity score matching;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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