Governing the Coffee Chain: The Role of Voluntary Regulatory Systems

Publication Type: 
Journal Name: 
Volume: 
33
Number: 
12
Page Numbers: 
2029-2044
Month/Season: 
Published On: 
2005

The coffee crisis has coincided with the emergence of a number of voluntary regulatory systems in the global coffee chain. The present article explores the advantages and limitations of such schemes, their impact on the chain’s governance, and their implications for farmers’ upgrading. We conclude that participation in these systems does not ensure a better economic performance, but it may facilitate coordination between roasters/traders and some growers, which may lead to upgrading opportunities. The paper also explores some possible options for deriving rents from improved coordination along the coffee chain.