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The Ambivalent Impact of Coffee Certification on Farmers’ Welfare: A Matched Panel Approach for Cooperatives in Central Kenya

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  • van Rijsbergen, Bart
  • Elbers, Willem
  • Ruben, Ruerd
  • Njuguna, Samuel N.

Abstract

Certification is promoted to improve rural welfare through better market access and improved agricultural practices. We compare net effects of Fairtrade- and Utz-Certified coffee production in Central Kenya, using a matched panel from 218 farm-households that belong to three cooperatives and were visited twice in 2009 and 2013. We distinguish between effects at field, farm, household, cooperative, community, and market levels. Both certification regimes improved coffee returns, but Fairtrade was more effective in coffee processing, whereas Utz contributed to productivity. Under stagnating coffee prices, Fairtrade farmers increased their coffee specialization, while Utz farmers reduced coffee areas but increased yield.

Suggested Citation

  • van Rijsbergen, Bart & Elbers, Willem & Ruben, Ruerd & Njuguna, Samuel N., 2016. "The Ambivalent Impact of Coffee Certification on Farmers’ Welfare: A Matched Panel Approach for Cooperatives in Central Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 277-292.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:77:y:2016:i:c:p:277-292
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.08.021
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