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Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 246; doi:10.3390/su9020246

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

1
Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, 307 Jimma, Ethiopia
2
Division of Bioeconomics, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
3
Business Economics Group, Wageningen University & Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
4
Department of Geography, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Moya Kneafsey
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 11 February 2017
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: private standards; sustainability standards; global value chains; coffee certification; poverty impact; Ethiopia private standards; sustainability standards; global value chains; coffee certification; poverty impact; Ethiopia
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Mitiku, F.; de Mey, Y.; Nyssen, J.; Maertens, M. Do Private Sustainability Standards Contribute to Income Growth and Poverty Alleviation? A Comparison of Different Coffee Certification Schemes in Ethiopia. Sustainability 2017, 9, 246.

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