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Trading Off Nutrition and Education? A Panel Data Analysis of the Dissimilar Welfare Effects of Organic and Fairtrade Standards

This study uses panel data from small-scale coffee producers in Uganda and compares the effects of two of the most popular sustainability standards used by smallholder farmers in developing countries – Organic and Fairtrade. It analyzes welfare effects in terms of household expenditures, child education, and nutrition. Results show that Organic and Fairtrade both have positive effects on total consumption expenditures. However, notable differences are observed in terms of the other outcomes. Organic contributes to improved nutrition but has no effect on education. For Fairtrade, it is exactly the opposite. The results suggest that food standards can be a tool to promote sustainability goals in the small farm sector.

Meemken, E., Spielman, D., and Qaima, M. Food Policy, August 2017, Volume 71, Pages 74-85.