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Still brewing: Fostering sustainable coffee production

Edward Millard

World Development Perspectives, 2017, vol. 7-8, 32-42

Abstract: Coffee sustainability has evolved from a movement led by civil society to become a core business interest of coffee trading companies and roasters. It attracts substantial investment from both individual companies and the coffee industry, acting collaboratively. We analyze this evolution and its effects on how sustainability is applied by coffee farmers, as well as the resultant changes on farms and in producing communities. As companies shift to more sustainable coffee production, we show that while farmers benefit, such benefit is limited by governance factors in the supply chain and by the scope of the companies’ interests. This research draws on evidence from the programs developed by civil society organizations, including those managing standards and certification systems, and the coffee industry. We find that the market approach to sustainable coffee production requires parallel commitments from governments and donor agencies to achieve equitable social participation and environmental conservation. We argue for impact studies, which presently focus on standards and certification, to consider a wider range of market approaches.

Keywords: Coffee; Sustainability; Standards; Certification; Deforestation; Gender (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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