Fairtrade Certification on Plantations: Household Welfare Implications for Hired Labour
Katharina Krumbiegel, Meike Wollni
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Germany
About 500 million workers are employed on agricultural plantations world-wide. They are considered to be one of the most vulnerable groups in the global trade system. Recent developments such as the vertical integration of agri-food chains, access to international markets and rising consumer awareness have led to the increased adoption of sustainability standards, such as Fairtrade. While Fairtrade measures aim to ensure adequate employment conditions, collective action and fair wages its ultimate objective is to improve the socioeconomic well-being of workers' households and their communities. The question remains whether Fairtrade certification of large-scale plantations can contribute to decreasing workers' monetary and non-monetary poverty. This study therefore aims to assess whether Fairtrade can raise income levels of worker households and whether this may potentially lead to wealth accumulation and higher standards of living.
Keywords: Agricultural labourers, asset accumulation, fairtrade certification, household welfare, plantation agriculture, standard of living
Contact Address: Katharina Krumbiegel, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Heinrich-Düker-Weg 12, 37073 Göttingen, Germany, e-mail: katharina.krumbiegelagr.uni-goettingen.de