• In order to alleviate the impacts of the low coffee prices in recent years, sustainable coffee production and certification have been a logical strategy for many producers to: a) differentiate their product in the market place; and, b) shift their production cost structure away from more input intensive techniques. This paper explores the two most widely recognized certification schemes (organic and ‘‘fairtrade’’) to determine whether certification to these systems is actually benefiting producers. It then explores the principal differences in production costs and price premiums for the two systems and their effect on different categories of producers. Finally, it considers the dynamics of the conventional and sustainable coffee markets to assess the likely medium to long-term economic outlook for producers involved in the certification schemes. The research is based on a combination of published sources and detailed primary source data (interviews and surveys) gathered by the CIMS Foundation.

  • Bernard Kilian Professor (Full), INCAE Business School, Alajuela, Costa Rica



    Copyright:© 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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