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Title Certification – curse or blessing for Ethiopia’s dwindling coffee forests?

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Short title Evaluation of Forest Coffee certification in Ethiopia

Author(s) Volkmann, J.(1); Stellmacher, T.(1); Gole, T.W.(2); Senbeta, F.(2); Grote, U.(3)

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Institution(s) (1) ZEF – Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Germany; (2) ECFF – Ethiopia Coffee Forest Forum, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia; (3) University of Hannover, Germany

Keywords Certification; forest coffee; coffee quality, traceability

Abstract For a few years, Ethiopia's ‘wild’ forest coffees have made their way to overseas’ speciality markets. At the same time, the market access and price premiums realized through certification are intended to attribute an additional economic value to forests coffee and thus providing incentives for the conservation of coffee forests. An evaluation of prominent certification schemes shows that none of them meets the aspiration of contributing to forest conservation and securing local livelihoods. Also they are not able to point out the uniqueness of Ethiopia ‘wild’ forest coffee. Spatial data analysis of a major coffee forest area in South-West Ethiopia and field studies suggest that at least 65 % of the remnant forest areas are subject to management activities and use. Certification practice usually does not challenge destructive practices. Rising coffee prices rather encourage a further intensified forest management. The objective of both conserving biodiversity and of sustainably using forest resources in a unique environment calls for unique solutions: A custom-made certification scheme that remunerates good conservation practice and compliance with market requirements, such as quality and traceability.

Congress Topic Coffee project

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Ref. No. 505