Published on March 12, 2014
Co-operation or Capture? The Politics of Partnerships with Private Actors in Shade-grown Certification of Coffee Arshiya Bose
• Power dynamics between private actors and independent shade- grown certification • Implications for sustainable agroforestry Will certification transform conventional coffee markets or be captured by them?
Private actors exercise power…
a) obtaining differential benefits from certified coffee b) influencing the conservation purpose of shade-grown certification c) Protecting nominal environmental and social standards
“To participate in shade-grown certification, I need few trees per acre. I can reduce some shade trees and I will still qualify.” “I had to make no changes to my farm to become shade-grown certified.”
lowest common denominator standards race to the bottom phenomenon
Stringent shade cover requirements: (a) fewer certified farms, lower volumes of certified coffee (a) the provision of price incentives that are commensurate with the loss of yield Significant structural changes to value chains and coffee markets!
‘Co-optation’ or ‘Capture’ is an effort to maintain status quo fit within the parameters of conventional business operations dilution of the transformative power of certification standards for sustainable agroforestry
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