Do private coffee standards ‘walk the talk’ in improving socio-economic and environmental sustainability?

Private sustainability standards (PSS) cover a large production area and include an expanding number of farmers worldwide. They bring up expectations among consumers about the economic, social and environmental implications of food production and trade. But do PSS effectively provide a way to improve the socio-economic and environmental sustainability of global food production and trade? Unfortunately, there are no multidisciplinary studies that concurrently assess the socio-economic and environmental impacts of PSS, which are needed to understand the full sustainability implications of PSS including potential trade-offs between socio-economic and environmental benefits.

For this reason, Division Forest, Nature and Landscape, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Division of Bio-economics, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, and Royal Museum for Central Africa have come together to conduct an inter-disciplinary and comparative study on the socio-economic and environmental implications of different coffee certification schemes. They analyze the on-farm socio-economic and environmental impacts of a double Fairtrade – Organic (FT-Org) and a triple UTZ – Rainforest Alliance –4C (UTZ-RA-4C) smallholder coffee certification scheme in Uganda.

Please find the complete report from this study here.