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The role of Fairtrade certification for wages and job satisfaction of plantation workers. Revised version

Author

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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, 2017. "The role of Fairtrade certification for wages and job satisfaction of plantation workers. Revised version," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 258582, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:gagfdp:258582
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/258582/files/GlobalFood_DP100.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fort, Ricardo & Ruben, Ruerd, 2009. "The impact of Fair Trade on banana producers in northern Peru," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 50964, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Barrientos, Stephanie & Dolan, Catherine & Tallontire, Anne, 2003. "A Gendered Value Chain Approach to Codes of Conduct in African Horticulture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1511-1526, September.
    3. repec:ner:leuven:urn:hdl:123456789/335950 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Liesbeth Colen & Miet Maertens & Johan Swinnen, 2012. "Private Standards, Trade and Poverty: GlobalGAP and Horticultural Employment in Senegal," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(8), pages 1073-1088, August.
    5. Miet Maertens & Bart Minten & Johan Swinnen, 2012. "Modern Food Supply Chains and Development: Evidence from Horticulture Export Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 30(4), pages 473-497, July.
    6. Schuster, Monica & Maertens, Miet, 2014. "Do labor standards benefit workers in horticultural export chains in Peru?," Working Papers 191037, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.
    7. Mulinge, Munyae & Mueller, Charles W., 1998. "Employee job satisfaction in developing countries: The case of Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(12), pages 2181-2199, December.
    8. Kleemann, Linda & Abdulai, Awudu & Buss, Mareike, 2014. "Certification and Access to Export Markets: Adoption and Return on Investment of Organic-Certified Pineapple Farming in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 79-92.
    9. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
    10. Bacon, Christopher, 2005. "Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Can Fair Trade, Organic, and Specialty Coffees Reduce Small-Scale Farmer Vulnerability in Northern Nicaragua?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 497-511, March.
    11. Ehlert, Christoph R. & Mithöfer, Dagmar & Waibel, Hermann, 2014. "Worker welfare on Kenyan export vegetable farms," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 66-73.
    12. Schuster, Monica & Maertens, Miet, 2015. "Worker Empowerment through Labor Standards. Evidence from the Peruvian Horticultural Export Sector," Working Papers 208142, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.
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    Keywords

    Agribusiness; Farm Management; Labor and Human Capital;

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