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The Role of Fairtrade Certification for Wages and Job Satisfaction of Plantation Workers

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  • Krumbiegel, Katharina
  • Maertens, Miet
  • Wollni, Meike

Abstract

Worker welfare and employment conditions in the agri-food-producing and processing sectors in the global south have become an increasing concern for consumers. Sustainability standards, such as Fairtrade, play an important role in agri-food markets of horticultural produce and may be a tool to address these concerns. However, so far the implications of Fairtrade certification for extrinsic and intrinsic employment factors of hired labor on large-scale plantations remain hardly understood. In this paper we assess its effect on workers’ hourly wages and their level of job satisfaction with primary survey data from 325 randomly sampled workers from eight different export-oriented pineapple companies in Ghana. We apply a linear, linear mixed model, and instrumental variable approach to take into account the multilevel characteristics of our data and possible selection bias. Our findings show that both hourly wages and job satisfaction are indeed higher on Fairtrade-certified plantations. Factors of increased job satisfaction are likely driven by higher wages, permanent employment contracts, training opportunities, company services such as medical care and paid leave as well as established labor unions on Fairtrade-certified plantations.

Suggested Citation

  • Krumbiegel, Katharina & Maertens, Miet & Wollni, Meike, 2018. "The Role of Fairtrade Certification for Wages and Job Satisfaction of Plantation Workers," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 195-212.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:195-212
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.09.020
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fairtrade certification; horticultural employment; worker wages; job satisfaction;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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