Research Webinar 30: Do private coffee standards ‘walk the talk’ in improving socio-economic and environmental sustainability?

Research Webinar 30: Do private coffee standards ‘walk the talk’ in improving socio-economic and environmental sustainability?

<p>This ISEAL research webinar presents the results and learnings from a research study entitled '<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959378017309111">Do Private Sustainability Standards walk the talk in improving economic and environmental sustainability</a>?' by Vanderhaegen et al. published in 2018 in the Global Environment Change Journal. The paper analyses the on-farm socio-economic and environmental implications of a double Fairtrade - Organic (FT-Org) and a triple UTZ - Rainforest Alliance -4C (UTZ-RA-4C) smallholder coffee certification scheme over a study area covering five of the eight districts of the Mt. Elgon region a main coffee producing area in Uganda. The webinar highlights the mixed results from this research and case study site whereby sustainability standards in focus were seen to have a positive impact on some dimensions of coffee sustainability but not on others. The discussion in the webinar highlighted interesting insights for standards practitioners and researchers regarding the research methodology adopted in the study and the issue of multiple certification in general. The discussion also raised the challenge of generalisation of results - to what extent does a study on one case in one region allow for a more generalised verdict on the overall impacts of standards at a global scale? While the researchers advise standards to take care in the claims they make, the risk of over-generalisation of results by researchers on the basis of one or a very small sample was also raised in the dialogue.</p>