This book provides a balanced critique of a range of international sustainability certification schemes across nine agricultural and natural resource industries.
Certification schemes set standards through intramarket private and multi-stakeholder mechanisms, and while third-party verification is often compulsory, certification schemes are regulated voluntarily rather than legislatively. This volume examines the intricacies of certification schemes and the issues they seek to address and provides the context within which each scheme operates. While a distinction between sustainability certifications and extra-markets or intrabusiness codes of conducts is made, the book also demonstrates how both are often working towards similar sustainability objectives. Each chapter highlights a different sector, including animal welfare, biodiversity, biofuels, coffee, fisheries, flowers, forest management and mining, with the contributions offering interdisciplinary perspectives and utilising a wide range of methodologies. The realities, achievements and challenges faced by varying certification schemes are discussed, identifying common outcomes and findings and concluding with recommendations for future practice and research.
The book is aimed at advanced students, researchers and professionals in agribusiness, natural resource economics, sustainability assessment and corporate social responsibility.
Table of Contents
1. Sustainability certifications: changes over time and their unique position of influence
PART I Cultural considerations associated with sustainability certifications
2. Cultural implications, flows and synergies of sustainability certifications
PART II Evaluating biodiversity outcomes
3. Biodiversity outcomes associated with sustainability certifications: contextualising understanding and expectations, and allowing for ambitious intentions
Melissa Vogt and Oskar Englund
4. How does FSC certification of forest management benefit conservation of biodiversity?
Franck Trolliet, Melissa Vogt and Fritz Kleinschroth
PART III Standard development and verification-based examples and considerations
5. Biochar and certification
Frank G.A. Verheijen, Ana Catarina Bastos, Hans-Peter Schmidt and Simon Jeffery
6. Safeguarding farm animal welfare
Harry J. Blokhuis, Isabelle Veissier, Mara Miele and Bryan Jones
PART IV Industry or certification specific reviews, evaluations and recommendations
7. Certifying farmed seafood: a drop in the ocean or a ‘stepping-stone’ towards increased sustainability?
Malin Jonell, Michael Tlusty, Max Troell and Patrik Rönnbäck
8. Biofuel sustainability certifications in the EU: democratically legitimate and socio-environmentally effective?
Thomas Vogelpohl and Daniela Perbandt
9. The path to credibility for the Marine Stewardship Council
Scott McIlveen, Riley Schnurr, Graeme Auld, Shannon Arnold, Keith Flett, and Megan Bailey
PART V Industry and country specific primary research, evaluation and recommendations
10. Interoperability of mineral sustainability initiatives: a case study of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM)
Renzo Mori Junior, Kathryn Sturman and Jean-Pierre Imbrogiano
11. Juggling multiple sustainability certifications in the Costa Rican coffee industry
12. To certify or not to certify: flower production practices in Ecuador
Jeroen Vos, Pippi van Ommen and Patricio Mena-Vásconez
PART VI Summarising outcomes for society and the environment
13. Collating correlations, conclusions, recommendations and ideas for future research, evaluation and practice
Melissa Vogt has been involved with and considering outcomes associated with sustainability certifications since 2006. She completed doctoral studies early 2019. She has experience as a consultant to small and medium-sized business in developing countries; and as an evaluator for community-based projects and programmes, and for commercialised scientific projects. She has taught in higher education in Rwanda and Australia and is currently based at the University of New South Wales, Australia.