Cambridge, United Kingdom
Burrell's Walk Cambridge England CB3 9AJ GB

Little is known about where agricultural certification operates and whether certified lands are best located for conserving the world’s most important biodiversity and benefiting the most vulnerable producers.

We aimed to: (1) develop the first detailed global map showing where certification is located, synthesizing data from all of the main standards for which data were available; and (2) characterize biodiversity and poverty in landscapes in which certification currently operates, globally, regionally and within countries, using as case studies crops for which sufficient data exist. We use these analyses to illustrate methods for identifying priority areas that could be targeted to maximize the incremental benefits of improving, consolidating, and expanding certification, and outline how doing so could increase the contribution of certification to global sustainability. We have assumed that the expansion of certification has been too recent and limited to have yet had a detectable influence on the biodiversity and poverty datasets we used, and our analysis should thus be interpreted as an aid to priority-setting, rather than implying any causal influence of certification on these variables.

Lead organization:
University of Cambridge
Study sector:
Agriculture focus:
Coffee, Tea, Cocoa, Sugarcane, Palm oil, Soy
Fairtrade, UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, RSPO, RTRS, Bonsucro, RSB, Starbucks CAFE Practices, 4C
Study type:
Outcome or Impact Evaluation, Other
Study design & methods:
Quantitative collection and analysis methods, Remote sensing
Study scope:
Social issues, Environmental issues
Primary Research Funders:
Cambridge Conservation Initiative
Research Partner(s):
RSPB, BirdLife International, Rainforest Alliance
Published on:
October 30, 2017
Name of lead contact:
Cath Tayleur