Sustainability certification is seen by many as an important means to make supply chains more sustainable. Even though there is some robust evidence on farm-level impacts of certification, very little information is available on regional level impacts of certification initiatives.
Photo: Don Jansen, Plant Research International Wageningen UR
54% of the studies present evidence of a positive impact on income on farm-level, while 38% of the studies show that no impacts on income have been found. 8% of the studies even present evidence of negative effects of certification. Interviews indicate that benefits for farmers have been observed but have often not been measured.
The reviewed literature and the interviews in this study pointed to a broad need to improve the enabling environment in which producers involved in certification initiatives operate. For certification initiatives to actually lead to positive impact on farmers' livelihoods, a number of conditions and contextual factors should be taken into account: conditions with regard to production systems, market conditions and an enabling environment.