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Do Private Sustainability Standards Contribute to Income Growth and Poverty Alleviation? A Comparison of Different Coffee Certification Schemes in Ethiopia

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Listed:
  • Fikadu Mitiku

    () (Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, 307 Jimma, Ethiopia
    Division of Bioeconomics, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium)

  • Yann De Mey

    () (Business Economics Group, Wageningen University & Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands)

  • Jan Nyssen

    () (Department of Geography, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium)

  • Miet Maertens

    () (Division of Bioeconomics, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium)

Abstract

Private sustainability standards are increasingly important in food trade with developing countries, but the implications for smallholder farmers are still poorly understood. We analyze the implications of different coffee certification schemes in Ethiopia using cross-sectional survey data, and regression and propensity-score-matching techniques. We find that: Rainforest Alliance (RA) and double Fairtrade-Organic (FT-Org) certifications are associated with higher incomes and reduced poverty, mainly because of higher prices; Fairtrade (FT) certification hardly affects welfare; and Organic (Org) certification reduces incomes, chiefly due to lower yields. Cooperative heterogeneity importantly shapes these results. Results imply that private standards may not always deliver what they promise to consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Fikadu Mitiku & Yann De Mey & Jan Nyssen & Miet Maertens, 2017. "Do Private Sustainability Standards Contribute to Income Growth and Poverty Alleviation? A Comparison of Different Coffee Certification Schemes in Ethiopia," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-21, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:246-:d:90066
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Minten, Bart & Dereje, Mekdim & Engeda, Ermias & Tamru, Seneshaw, 2014. "Who benefits from the rapidly increasing voluntary sustainability standards? Evidence from fairtrade and organic certified coffee in Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 71, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jagris:v:9:y:2019:i:2:p:41-:d:208183 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Akoyi, K.T. & Mitiku, F. & Maertens, M., 2018. "Is prohibiting child labour enough? Coffee certification and child schooling in Ethiopia and Uganda," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 275958, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Meemken, Eva-Marie & Qaim, Matin, 2017. "Can Private Food Standards Promote Gender Equality in the Small Farm Sector?," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258088, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:71:y:2017:i:c:p:74-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Meemken, Eva-Marie & Spielman, David J. & Qaim, Matin, 2017. "Trading off nutrition and education? A panel data analysis of the dissimilar welfare effects of Organic and Fairtrade standards," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 74-85.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    private standards; sustainability standards; global value chains; coffee certification; poverty impact; Ethiopia;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • 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
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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