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Effect of voluntary private standards on coffee commodity chain in Costa Rica

Le Coq J.F.. 2009. In : Book of abstracts of the 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry, 23-28 August 2009, Nairobi, Kenya : Agroforestry, the future of global land use. Nairobi : WCA [Nairobi], p. 38-39. World Congress of Agroforestry. 2, 2009-08-23/2009-08-28, Nairobi (Kenya).

During the last 20 years, private voluntary standards for coffee have been developed around the world. In Costa Rica, they were strongly developed after the coffee crisis in the early 2000s. Nowadays, half of Costa Rican production is certified. This paper proposes an analysis of the effect of the increase of voluntary private standards (organic, fair trade, UTZ certified, Rain Forest alliance, Starbucks, Nespresso) in the coffee sector on the commodity chain in Costa Rica. Based on a literature review and direct interviews of actors in the coffee sector in Costa Rica, the paper presents the main evolution of the structure and functioning of the Costa Rican coffee commodity chain during the last decade. It shows that early certification channelled through local organizations, especially in organic and fair trade, helped the coffee growers of the marginal coffee production areas to cope with coffee market crises in the early 2000s. Later, after the coffee crises, the multiplication and development of environmentally friendly voluntary standards appears as one of the elements of the strategies of producers and producers¿ organizations to cope with increasing production costs and market competition. Nevertheless, the impact on final producers¿ income has been limited. Finally, private standards in the coffee sector increase the resilience of coffee producers to market shocks and have contributed to the consolidation of producers¿ organizations and the maintaining of coffee-based agroforestry systems. (Texte intégral)

Mots-clés : fève de café; costa rica

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