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Environmental-economic benefits and trade-offs on sustainably certified coffee farms

Environmental-economic benefits and trade-offs on sustainably certified coffee farms

Haggar, Jeremy, Soto, Gabriela, Casanoves, Fernando and de Melo Virginio, Elias (2017) Environmental-economic benefits and trade-offs on sustainably certified coffee farms. Ecological Indicators, 79. pp. 330-337. ISSN 1470-160X (doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.04.023)

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Abstract

Coffee with diverse shade trees is recognized as conserving greater biodiversity than more intensive production methods. Sustainable certification has been proposed as an incentive to conserve shade grown coffee. With 40% of global coffee production certified as sustainable, evidence is needed to demonstrate whether certification supports the environmental benefits of shade coffee. Environmen-tal and economic data were taken from 278 coffee farms in Nicaragua divided between non-certified and five different sustainable certifications. Farms were propensity-score matched by altitude, area of coffee and farmer education to ensure comparability between non-certified and certified farms. Farms under all certifications had better environmental characteristics than non-certified for some indica-tors, but none were better for all indicators. Certified farms generally received better prices than non-certified farms. Farms with different certifications had different investment strategies; C.A.F.E. Prac-tice farms had high investment and high return strategies, while Utz and Organic farms had low in-vestment, low productivity strategies. Tree diversity was inversely related to productivity, price and net revenue in general, but not for certified farms that received higher prices. Certification differenti-ates farms with better environmental characteristics and management, provides some economic bene-fits to most farmers, and may contribute to mitigating environment/economic trade-offs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Carbon stocks; Certification; Organic; Shade coffee; Tree diversity
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Ecosystem Services Research Group
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2017 13:30
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/16702

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