FairTrade's theory of change: an evaluation based on the cooperative life cycle framework and mixed methods uri icon

abstract

  • This study presents a quasi-experimental analysis of the impact of FairTrade certification on the commercial performance of coffee farmers in Tanzania. In doing so the study emphasises the importance of a well-contextualised theory of change as a basis for evaluation design. It also stresses the value of qualitative methods to control for selection bias. Based on a longitudinal (pseudo-panel) dataset comprising both certified and conventional farmers, it shows that FairTrade certification introduced a disincentive to farmers' commercialisation. We explain this counterintuitive conclusion on the basis of the `cooperative life cycle' theory developed by US agribusiness scholars.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014
  • 2014