Social and Economic Effects of Coffee Certification, with a Specific Focus on the Livelihood Effects for Farmers

The coffee production system in Indonesia is mainly characterized by smallholder production (90%). It is also a sector with several (competing) global certifying entities, some of which have a partnership structure. These certifying partnerships have somehow restructured the coffee supply chain in Indonesia, although its magnitude might not be as large as the impact potentials on strengthening the social capital and improving the community-cooperative governance in the producing regions. The partnerships generally require establishment of farmers’ organizations and locally adopted conducts. However, many of these standards provide no guarantee that direct benefits, particularly price premiums, would reach farm laborers or local communities.

This projects aims to assess both the livelihood effects of global certification for the farmers and the changes in agricultural practices.

The following research questions have been formulated:

  • How do farmers perceive the various attributes of the intervention logics of global certifying partnerships?
  • What is the relative importance of various explanations of farmer participation in certification?
  • In what ways and to what extent do the intervention logics of global certifying partnerships change the smallholder agricultural system, in terms of production, processing, and trading of coffee?
  • What is the relative importance of certification schemes on the livelihood of smallholders?

Research will take place in two regions, comprising the two main coffee varieties: Robusta coffee in the Province of Lampung, and Arabica coffee in the Province of Aceh. Non-certified farmers will act as a control group within these regions.