Assessing the Impacts of Certification Systems on Rural Poverty
A Case of Organic and Fair Trade Certified Coffee in Nicaragua
In 2007 and 2008 CATIE led the development and testing of an assessment methodology appropriate for when changes in rural poverty are the major concern. The methodology presented in this paper focuses on identifying changes in livelihood asset endowments, which are made up of natural, human, social, physical and financial capitals, as a result of participation in value chains for certified products.
This case study applied this new methodology to evaluate the experiences of the second-tier coffee cooperative Soppexcca and its individual members in value chains for organic and fair trade certified coffee and how these experiences were shaped by long-term relations with civil society and buyers over the span of nearly seven years. Interventions by civil society and buyers have been critical both for Soppexcca, allowing it to build strong links with hundreds of smallholder coffee producers that has been critical for its long-term positioning in organic and fair trade coffee markets as well as for Soppexcca’s members, enabling them to expand production, convert to organic production and improve the overall productivity and quality of coffee production.
Author: Jason Donovan
CATIE Turrialba, March 2010