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Sector, landscape or rural transformations? Exploring the limits and potential of agricultural sustainability initiatives through a cocoa case study

Sector, landscape or rural transformations? Exploring the limits and potential of agricultural sustainability initiatives through a cocoa case study

Nelson, Valerie and Phillips, David (2018) Sector, landscape or rural transformations? Exploring the limits and potential of agricultural sustainability initiatives through a cocoa case study. Business Strategy and the Environment, 27 (2). pp. 252-262. ISSN 0964-4733 (Print), 1099-0836 (Online) (doi:10.1002/bse.2014)

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Abstract

This paper analyses the changing nature of sustainability initiatives and their capacity to tackle sustainability challenges, focusing on cocoa in West Africa, and distilling lessons pertinent across agro-export industries and regions. Using data from empirical studies, literature review and consultations with key cocoa actors, we find ‘sustainable’ cocoa at a critical juncture. Applying an existing theoretical framework that distinguishes between resilience, transition and transformation of systems, we explore and analyse previous, current and future sustainability responses. We conclude that there are important innovations and upscaling of investment occurring in the cocoa sector on sustainability, but also that current approaches risk achieving only incremental change, helping to sustain the industry under deteriorating conditions (resilience), without enabling smallholders to claim rights and greater representation (transition) or tackling more fundamental root causes of the vulnerability of smallholders (transformation).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special Issue: Challenges of the Sustainability Transition in Global Trade
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainability; supply chains; cocoa; transformation; resilience; landscape
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 > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2018 14:20
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT a
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/19215

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