Rigorous Impact Evaluation to study the resilience of Fairtrade certified producers organisations

The global COVID-19 pandemic has heavily affected smallholder farmers worldwide, especially in the Global South. Smallholder farmers are now faced with a triple livelihood crisis; climate, prices and health. Also, the pandemic has hampered access to farm inputs, local transportation from farms to markets, and disrupted global supply chains. The Covid pandemic has thus exacerbated the already precarious livelihood of smallholder farmers resulting from volatile markets and price, ageing agriculture populations, little to no social protection, climate change, and low access to adaptive technology. On the other hand, the COVID-19 crisis has also created the opportunity to investigate the real impact of certification systems on smallholder farmers’ resilience. Against this background, Fairtrade International e.V. has called for a research consultancy. The overall aim of the research is to assess whether and how being Fairtrade certified contributes to the resilience of producer organisations  and their members (farmer and hired labour), using the COVID-19 pandemic as a case study.

Our contribution

Together with our partner Athena Infonomics, we conduct a mixed methods Rigorous Impact Evaluation (combining qualitative and quantitative insights) to evaluate the relationship between Fairtrade certified and non-certified producer organisations and their affiliated farmers/workers, their external environments, and the quality of those environments. The services we deliver include:

  1. Conception and design of a rigorous mixed-methods impact evaluation (quasi-experiment)
  2. Innovative multi-level quantitative and qualitative data collection with Fairtrade certified producer organisations in all Fairtrade countries in Latin America and Carribean, Africa, and Asia Pacific via online surveys, and specific qualitative and quantitative insights (via Key Informant Interviews with Fairtrade certified and non-certified producer organisations and a survey with  their farmers and workers) in the coffee sector in Indonesia, the banana sector in Peru and the flower sector in Kenya 
  3. In doing so, the research team will be able to assess whether and how being Fairtrade-certified contributes to the resilience of Fairtrade members. This research will also allow us to understand, document, and learn about the additional impact of Fairtrade Covid-relief support for Fairtrade producer organisations and their affiliated members. 

Facts and Figures

Country/ies Peru, Kenya and Indonesia 
Thematic area Monitoring, Impact Evaluation & Learning
Duration 05/2021-03/2022
Client  Fairtrade International e.V
Website https://www.fairtrade.net/