This report presents the findings for Ecuador of a study on the poverty impact of sustainability standards. The main questions explored were - Do voluntary standards have an impact on the poverty and livelihoods of smallholders, outgrowers and hired labourers and their organisations? If so what kind? Are voluntary standards effective mechanisms for tackling poverty?
The project aims to answer the overall research question about the poverty impact of sustainability standards, but also a number of specific research questions on the poverty impacts of voluntary standards. This report explores only those questions of relevance to the Ecuadorian situation. The primary research question was to understand the impact of standards on cocoa producing smallholders, outgrowers, hired labourers and their organisations, and also to investigate whether and how standards have an impact (and by what mechanism or impact pathway). The overall approach was theory-based evaluation of cases, with standardized questions and analytical techniques to facilitate comparative analysis. The design incorporated ‘counterfactual’ cases which allowed the comparison of ‘with certification’ and ‘without certification’ scenarios. The Ecuador study is one of four country case oriented, comparative studies, which seek to generate evidence on the impact of sustainability standards to inform policy and practice.
Cepeda, D.; Pound, B.; Nelson, V.; Kajman, G.; Cabascango, D.; Martin, A.; Chile, M.; Posthumus, H.; Caza, G.; Mejia, I.; Montenegro, F.; Ruup, L.; Velastegui, G.A.; Tiaguaro, Y.; Valverde, M.; Ojeda, A. Final Report: Assessing the poverty impact of sustainability standards in Ecuadorian cocoa. Natural Resources Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich, London, UK (2013) 111 pp.