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Academic publications

Sustainable cocoa - a matter of taste?, Laven, Anna, and van der Kooij Susanne , Origin Chocolate Event, 10/2013, Royal Tropical Institute , (2013) , (Academic Publication)
Market study of fine flavour cocoa (revised version) , van der Kooij, Susanne , October/2013, Amsterdam, (2013) , (Academic Publication)
Good chocolate? An examination of ethical consumption in cocoa, Berlan, Amanda , Ethical Consumption: Social Value and Economic Practice, 2012///, (2012) , (Academic Publication)
Increasing cocoa productivity through improved nutrition, De Vries, K, McClafferty B, and Van Dorp M , 11/2012, The Netherlands, (2012) , (Academic Publication)
Fair trade and child labor, Baradaran, Shima, and Barclay Stephanie , Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Forthcoming, 2011///, (2011) , (Academic Publication)

Pro Poor Certification: Assessing the benefits of sustainability certification for small-scale farmers in Asia's picture
TitlePro Poor Certification: Assessing the benefits of sustainability certification for small-scale farmers in Asia
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBlackmore, Emma, Keeley James, Pyburn Rhiannon, Mangus Ellen, Chen Lu, and Yuhui Qiao
Institution International Institute for Environment and Development
Publication LanguageEnglish
Keywordscertification, coffee, cotton, pro poor, tea

Small-scale farmers face particular challenges in building their livelihoods from agriculture. These include geographical dispersion – contributing to high transport and transaction costs, a lack of market information, and limited access to affordable credit and inputs. Small-scale farmers capture a low and declining share of the final purchase price of their produce, and often face problems of environmental sustainability.

Certification is often proposed as a means to avoid the traps associated with low and volatile commodity prices, environmentally unsustainable farming practices and poor market access. But does certification offer a solution to these problems or should we be cautious about endorsing certification as a universal panacea for improving rural livelihoods?

This study reviews evidence on the costs and benefits of a number of certification schemes, organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Utz Certified and CAFÉ Practices. It also explores the potential of geographic labelling strategies to deliver benefits to poor and marginalised farmers. The research has a particular focus on certification for small-scale tea production in Vietnam and China; coffee production in China, Vietnam and Indonesia; and cotton production in India. The Asian settings examined here are interesting because they are dominated by small-scale production systems, often characterised by limited economic and agricultural opportunities, high levels of persistent poverty and pockets of food insecurity.