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Shaping the role of water : an investigation of participation and stringency in third-party ecolabels for coffee

Snarset, Linn LU (2016) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20161
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The global food system, population growth, increased wealth, shifting diets and an overall larger demand for processed food, meat and dairy, has led to increased pressure on land, water and energy. The environmental implications of this have taken part in the establishment of international institutions which aims to regulate agriculture production methods, and thereby reduce these adverse impacts. This thesis targets one of these, namely third-party ecolabels, and puts focus on the content of regulation, and the process through which it was produced. The research draws on standards from four ecolabels that target coffee production (EU-Organic, KRAV, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ), in which impact on water resources is identified as a... (More)
The global food system, population growth, increased wealth, shifting diets and an overall larger demand for processed food, meat and dairy, has led to increased pressure on land, water and energy. The environmental implications of this have taken part in the establishment of international institutions which aims to regulate agriculture production methods, and thereby reduce these adverse impacts. This thesis targets one of these, namely third-party ecolabels, and puts focus on the content of regulation, and the process through which it was produced. The research draws on standards from four ecolabels that target coffee production (EU-Organic, KRAV, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ), in which impact on water resources is identified as a significant environmental impact, and thus the focus of study. In this endeavor, a mixed-method approach was used, consisting of a quantitative document analysis, semi-structured expert interviews, and literature reviews.
Through the application of Gulbrandsen’s theoretical framework, rooted in institutionalism which puts emphasis on rules and norms that govern institutional arrangements, with a special emphasis put on participation, inclusiveness and stringency the following results were derived. A common pattern is that stakeholders are invited to participate but mainly with inputs and comments, while their authority over impacting the standard content is low. The study finds that third-party ecolabels for coffee indeed do take water into consideration in their standards, but only to a certain extent. Further, standards focus mostly on criterion relating to water quality and the use of pesticides and fertilizers. While the level of participation could increase the level of stringency, whereby water is taken into consideration in standards, this hypothetical linkage was not the case for KRAV and Rainforest Alliance. Instead this link was seen in UTZ who has high level of participation consisting of shared authority over the content, and take water into consideration in the standard. The opposite was seen in EU-Organic who has low level of participation and has low priority in the standard. Findings indicate that “we may have generally quite low expectations on ecolabels in this issue of water”. (Less)
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author
Snarset, Linn LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
participation, standards, water resources, green coffee, stringency, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2016:010
language
English
id
8880507
date added to LUP
2016-06-16 10:44:02
date last changed
2016-06-16 10:44:02
@misc{8880507,
  abstract     = {The global food system, population growth, increased wealth, shifting diets and an overall larger demand for processed food, meat and dairy, has led to increased pressure on land, water and energy. The environmental implications of this have taken part in the establishment of international institutions which aims to regulate agriculture production methods, and thereby reduce these adverse impacts. This thesis targets one of these, namely third-party ecolabels, and puts focus on the content of regulation, and the process through which it was produced. The research draws on standards from four ecolabels that target coffee production (EU-Organic, KRAV, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ), in which impact on water resources is identified as a significant environmental impact, and thus the focus of study. In this endeavor, a mixed-method approach was used, consisting of a quantitative document analysis, semi-structured expert interviews, and literature reviews.
Through the application of Gulbrandsen’s theoretical framework, rooted in institutionalism which puts emphasis on rules and norms that govern institutional arrangements, with a special emphasis put on participation, inclusiveness and stringency the following results were derived. A common pattern is that stakeholders are invited to participate but mainly with inputs and comments, while their authority over impacting the standard content is low. The study finds that third-party ecolabels for coffee indeed do take water into consideration in their standards, but only to a certain extent. Further, standards focus mostly on criterion relating to water quality and the use of pesticides and fertilizers. While the level of participation could increase the level of stringency, whereby water is taken into consideration in standards, this hypothetical linkage was not the case for KRAV and Rainforest Alliance. Instead this link was seen in UTZ who has high level of participation consisting of shared authority over the content, and take water into consideration in the standard. The opposite was seen in EU-Organic who has low level of participation and has low priority in the standard. Findings indicate that “we may have generally quite low expectations on ecolabels in this issue of water”.},
  author       = {Snarset, Linn},
  keyword      = {participation,standards,water resources,green coffee,stringency,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Shaping the role of water : an investigation of participation and stringency in third-party ecolabels for coffee},
  year         = {2016},
}