Eco-certified contract choice among coffee farmers in Brazil

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16 September 2016

We survey Brazilian coffee farmers’ preferences for attributes of voluntary sustainabilitystandards using a choice experiment. We collected original data from 250 coffee farmers wholive in the state of Minas Gerais who were asked to choose from several hypothetical buyingcontracts for eco-certified coffee. Our results suggest that both cash and non-cash paymentsmay motivate farmers to participate in sustainability standard certification schemes that re-quire improved agricultural practices. Preferences for non-cash rewards such as long-termformal contracts or technical assistance, however, appear highly heterogeneous. Results more-over show that the minimum willingness-to-accept for the adoption of composting is twiceas high as the average price premium for certified coffee in the current context, which maypartly explain why most coffee farmers continue to be reluctant to enter the most stringenteco-certification schemes such as the organic standard.