Certification and economic performance for southern actors

Esther Sri Astuti with Prof. Kemp and Dr. Offermans

First paper on the economic performance of certification Esther sri Astuti

Certification of agricultural products is highly debated and assumed to create advantages and disadvantages for developing countries. Certification may also influence the economic performance of southern actors in the value chain. Financial benefits resulting from certification schemes are however not always distributed equally along the product chain. One way of explaining these differences is by looking at dissimilarities in bargaining power, resulting from the number of actors or competitors involved and asymmetric information. Insight in (differences in) economic performance along the product chain may also offer information on factors that either function as a blocker or enabler in upgrading the economic performance of southern actors. For the first fieldwork Esther will focus on the coffee supply chain in Indonesia.

The research objective is threefold: 1. To assess the economic performance of southern economic actors for different global certification schemes.  2. To observe how benefits are distributed between different actors and; 3. To distinguish between enablers and blockers for upgrading economic performance

Esther will be using a Global Value Chain Analysis as this tool allows to systematically analyze the entire product chain, to assess the distribution of benefits and to investigate the role of upgrading.

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Second paper on the role of coffee marketing channels and certification on economic performance

It is generally assumed that sustainability certifications in the coffee sector may shorten the coffee chain, reduce transaction costs and market risks, improve market access, enhance knowledge of good agriculture practices, and in that way improve farmers' livelihood. In Esther's second paper she hypothesizes that the type of channel is an important structural factor influencing the performance of the coffee production, independent from the fact whether it is certified or conventional coffee. This paper analyzes the performances of different types of coffee channels in terms of efficiency and equity. Efficiency is operationalized by looking at costs, profits and lead times, whereas equity is measured in terms of the division of marketing and profit margins over the actors in the channels. We expect this paper to be published in 2016.  

Esther Sri Astuti

Sri Astuti, E., Offermans, A., Kemp, R., Cörvers, R. (2015).  The Impact of Coffee Certification on the Economic Performance of Indonesian Actors. Asian Journal of agriculture and development. 12:2: 1-16 ISSN: 1656-4383


Sri Astuti, E., Offermans, A., Glasbergen, P. (2015) Sustainability Certification and Economic Performance: An Analysis of Coffee Marketing Channels in Indonesia. Journal of economics and sustainable development 6:24: 84-98, ISSN 2222-1700 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2855 (Online)