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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Voluntary sustainability standards and social sustainability outcomes among Ethiopia’s smallholder coffee farmers: a systematic review

Hiwot Abayneh Ayele, Aída Gonzalez Mellado

Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Thünen-Institut für Marktanalyse, Germany


Voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) have been widely used as a tool to improve the living standard of smallholder farmers and create alternative options to protect smallholder farmers from a periodic crisis. Several studies have analysed whether sustainability standards such as Fairtrade or Organic deliver on their promise to benefit smallholder farmers in developing countries.

The broader objective of this work is to summarize previous research done on the topic of “VSS and social sustainability outcomes among Ethiopia’s smallholder coffee farmers”. In this study, we synthesize the contributions of previous studies in terms of methodologies, research gaps, and key findings focusing on Ethiopian smallholder coffee farmers. For this, we conducted a systematic review to consolidate results from original published articles. The systematic review study used a wide range of sources and followed a systematic literature review known as the step-by-step PRISMA procedure. The results obtained are manifold. Reasonably, a large share of these studies had given higher attention to the economic and environmental aspects of sustainability rather than to the social sustainability aspect. The findings analysed the different aspects of sustainability. Accordingly, compared with other components of sustainability outcomes the systematic review showed limited evidence of the social sustainability outcome brought about by compliance with VSS. Our findings confirm that most of the reviewed articles gave less attention to the social aspect of sustainability. Our review found out that awareness among households plays a vital role in affecting compliance with the social sustainability component.

Keywords: Coffee, Ethiopia , systematic review, voluntary sustainability standards

Contact Address: Hiwot Abayneh Ayele, Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Thünen-Institut für Marktanalyse, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany, e-mail: hiwot.abayneh-ayele@thuenen.de

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