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Look Inside Selling Sustainability Short?

Selling Sustainability Short?
The Private Governance of Labor and the Environment in the Coffee Sector

Part of Organizations and the Natural Environment

  • Publication planned for: July 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from July 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108835039


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About the Authors
  • Can private standards bring about more sustainable production practices? This question is of interest to conscientious consumers, academics studying the effectiveness of private regulation, and corporate social responsibility practitioners alike. Grabs provides an answer by combining an impact evaluation of 1,900 farmers with rich qualitative evidence from the coffee sectors of Honduras, Colombia and Costa Rica. Identifying an institutional design dilemma that private sustainability standards encounter as they scale up, this book shows how this dilemma plays out in the coffee industry. It highlights how the erosion of price premiums and the adaptation to buyers' preferences have curtailed standards' effectiveness in promoting sustainable practices that create economic opportunity costs for farmers, such as agroforestry or agroecology. It also provides a voice for coffee producers and value chain members to explain why the current system is failing in its mission to provide environmental, social, and economic co-benefits, and what changes are necessary to do better.

    • Interdisciplinary (covering regulatory governance, political economy, and environmental science), but written in a clear and accessible way for a variety of readers
    • Uses both quantitative and qualitative data, including interview quotes and field notes
    • Draws on comparative evidence from three countries
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: July 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108835039
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 16 b/w illus. 22 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from July 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The dilemma of effective private governance
    3. Defining the goal of a sustainable coffee sector
    4. Changing the market
    5. Changing farming practices
    6. Designing effective private institutions
    7. Interacting with public institutions
    8. Conclusions.

  • Author

    Janina Grabs, ETH Zurich
    Janina Grabs is a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich. She is the recipient of APSA's 2019 Virginia M. Walsh Dissertation Award, the 2018 Giandomenico Majone Prize for the best early career contribution to the ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance, the 2019 Oran R. Young Prize of the Earth System Governance Project, and the 2016 IFAMA Best Paper Award in the category 'relevance for managers'. She also provides strategic advice to the coffee industry, for instance as 2019 SCA Re:Co Speaker.

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