3ie Systematic review 34

Effects of certification schemes for agricultural production on socio-economic outcomes in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review

3ie Systematic review 34, 2017

Certification schemes set and monitor voluntary standards to make agricultural production socially sustainable and agricultural trade fairer for producers and workers. The review summarises findings from 43 quantitative studies and 136 qualitative studies. There is limited evidence on their effects on a range of intermediate and final socioeconomic outcomes for agricultural producers and wage workers. There are positive effects on prices. But workers’ wages do not seem to benefit from the schemes. Income from the sale of produce is higher for certified farmers, but overall household income is not. Context matters substantially for the causal chain between CS interventions and well-being. Simpler programmes adapted to local context may be more effective.

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