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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Fairtrade and Sustainability: Motivations for Fairtrade Certification among Smallholder Coffee Growers in Tanzania

Pyk, Filippa; Abu Hatab, Assem


Drawing on a survey of 148 Fairtrade-certified smallholder coffee farmers in the Kagera region of Tanzania, a quantitative investigation was performed on the farmers' motivations for Fairtrade certification. A factor analysis approach was used to analyze the importance of economic, social, and environmental motivations in farmers' decision-making on Fairtrade-labeled coffee certification. Moreover, three ordered logit models were estimated to assess the determinants of motivational behavior for Fairtrade certification among different socioeconomic groups in the survey sample. Overall, the results indicate that Fairtrade certification is predominantly economically motivated. Particularly, farmers are relatively less environmentally motivated to adopt the Fairtrade system. Flowever, female coffee farmers are significantly more environmentally driven to adopt Fairtrade certification. Surprisingly, the results suggest that farmers' level of education has no significant influence on their motivation for Fairtrade certification. Moreover, lower-income and smaller-scale coffee farmers are less economically and environmentally motivated for Fairtrade certification. In light of these findings, we suggest that efforts to promote Fairtrade certification among smallholder growers should be designed in ways that balance economic, social, and environmental outcomes. Furthermore, the findings call for targeted measures to strengthen Fairtrade's commitment to empowering disadvantaged smallholder farmers, including women, to achieve sustainable development goals in the region.


Fairtrade; small farmers; coffee; Tanzania; factor analysis; ordered logit model

Published in

2018, Volume: 10, number: 5, article number: 1551

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG5 Gender equality
      SDG10 Reduced inequalities
      SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
      Agricultural Science

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)