Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Adopters versus non-adopters of the Green Key ecolabel in the Dutch accommodation sector
    Buunk, Eelco ; Werf, Edwin van der - \ 2019
    Sustainability 11 (2019)13. - ISSN 2071-1050
    Campsites - Certification - Ecolabel - Ecolabel adoption - Hotel management - Sustainable tourism

    Accommodation providers such as hotels, campsites, and holiday villages can use ecolabels to show their green credentials to potential customers. Whereas there is extensive literature on ecolabel adoption in the Hotel and Bed and Breakfast (B & B) sector, no such research exists for other accommodation sectors. In this paper, we present the results of statistical analyses of survey data from firms in the Dutch accommodation sector (including hotels, campsites, and group accommodations) with and without the Green Key ecolabel, which is a third-party certified international label for the tourist and leisure sector. We obtain insights into the motivations for adopting (or not), analyze the characteristics of firms with and without the label, and get an indication of the perceived impact of ecolabel adoption on costs and profits. We find that previously found results for hotels and B & Bs do not always apply to other subsectors of the accommodation sector. We also find that obtaining the label required a limited investment for almost half of the sample, and resulted in cost reductions for more than half of the responding firms.

    Forest plantations’ investments in social services and local infrastructure : an analysis of private, FSC certified and state-owned, non-certified plantations in rural Tanzania
    Degnet, Mohammed B. ; Werf, Edwin van der; Ingram, Verina ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
    Land Use Policy 79 (2018). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 68 - 83.
    Certification - FSC - Perceptions - Private forest plantations - Social services - Tanzania

    With the rapid expansion of forest plantations worldwide, communities, NGOs and researchers are increasingly expressing their concerns about the outcomes of plantations’ activities for local households. This study investigates the perceptions of local households about forest plantations’ investments in social services and local infrastructure in rural Tanzania. We consider households living in villages adjacent to private, FSC certified forest plantations and households in villages adjacent to a state-owned, non-certified plantation. We use survey data from 338 households to analyze perceived changes in school enrolment, quality of education, and the number and quality of health centers, roads and bridges associated with investments by plantations. We use a mixed method approach and complement the results from a logistic regression model with observations of the size and quality of social services and infrastructure in the villages and with findings from focus group discussions. The results show that households in the villages adjacent to both the private, FSC certified and state-owned, non-certified forest plantations associate the plantations with improved social services and local infrastructure in the study villages. Moreover, we find that the private, FSC certified forest plantations are viewed more favorably than the state-owned, non-certified plantation in terms of their contributions to social services and local infrastructure in the study areas. Richer households tend to perceive the investments of the plantations more favorably than poorer households in the study villages.

    Constructing a multinationals' inclusive sourcing indicator for impacting farmer business models : Application in cocoa cases
    Sjauw-Koen-Fa, August R. ; Omta, S.W.F. ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2018
    International Journal on Food System Dynamics 9 (2018)3. - ISSN 1869-6945 - p. 207 - 225.
    Certification - Cocoa - CSR - Food multinationals - Smallholders - Supply chain management - Sustainable sourcing

    Cocoa multinationals have committed themselves to source and use close to 100 percent sustainable certified cocoa beans, aiming to improve farmers' livelihoods. As their current sourcing strategy is aimed mainly at environmental sustainability, they need a different one. This study seeks to amend this by providing an inclusive sourcing indicator, representing the integral costs of certified cocoa beans, to leverage values to impact farmers business model in high value-adding supply chains. Because this indicator is explorative indicator the applicability has been explored in four cases in Ghana and the Ivory Coast from the literature. This study's findings call for a review of conventional sourcing models and certification schemes to anticipate the mainstreaming of sustainable sourcing and the improvement of farmers' livelihoods.

    Identifying barriers and levers of biodiversity mainstreaming in four cases of transnational governance of land and water
    Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S.I.S.E. ; Boelee, E. ; Cools, J. ; Hoof, L.J.W. van; Hospes, O. ; Kok, M. ; Peerlings, J.H.M. ; Tatenhove, J.P.M. van; Termeer, C.J.A.M. ; Visseren-Hamakers, I.J. - \ 2018
    Environmental Science & Policy 85 (2018). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 132 - 140.
    Biodiversity - Mainstreaming - Integration - Values-based leadership - Governance - Certification - Economic sectors - Fisheries - Palm Oil - FDI - Land - Mangroves
    Mainstreaming biodiversity into the governance of economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries is required to reverse biodiversity loss and achieve globally adopted conservation targets. Governments have recognized
    this but little progress has been made. This paper addresses the following research question: What are the barriers and levers for mainstreaming biodiversity into economic sectors that exert high pressure on biodiversity?
    This question is approached through applying an analytical framework developed from literature on mainstreaming and Environmental Policy Integration as well as governance theory and practice to four cases in
    agriculture, agro-forestry and fisheries covering multi-level and transnational governance contexts. Decisionmaking and governance in these cases look quite different compared to the kind of public policy machinery of governmental bureaucracies that much EPI literature has focused on. Our analysis demonstrates mainstreaming efforts in some of our cases at the degree of harmonization and even coordination among key actors. It further identifies a number of ‘additional’ barriers and levers that from an Environmental Policy Integration perspective would be considered as external factors out of reach for mainstreaming efforts. The results are pertinent for the evaluation of EPI performance because the governance perspective expands the borders of who can initiate, enable and sustain mainstreaming, what scope of regulatory norms they can use and the potentially useful resources for the process.
    The role of a German multi-stakeholder standard for livestock products derived from non-GMO feed
    Venus, Thomas J. ; Drabik, Dusan ; Wesseler, Justus - \ 2018
    Food Policy 78 (2018). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 58 - 67.
    Certification - Credence good - Food labeling - Genetically modified organisms - Multi-stakeholder - Process attribute - Voluntary private standard
    In Germany, products derived from livestock who were fed GMO are not required to be labeled as GMO. However, non-GMO labeling requires compliance with the national public non-GMO production standard, including a confirmation that no GM feed was used. In addition to the national standard, firms can adopt a private collaborative certification standard set by a multi-stakeholder organization. Using a survey of German dairies, we show that firms with more suppliers were more likely to adopt the multi-stakeholder standard or to stay conventional if their perceived risk of reputation loss and liability issues for non-GMO production were higher. Firms with lower perceived risks were more likely to comply only with the public standard for non-GMO labeling (i.e., not adopt the private standard). We discuss how potential incongruent interests of the various stakeholders that set the private production and certification standard may have incentivized firms to adopt the non-GMO standard in the initial phase after the introduction of the labeling option.
    The uneven response to global environmental governance: Russia's contentious politics of forest certification
    Henry, L.A. ; Tysyachnyouk, M. - \ 2018
    Forest Policy and Economics 90 (2018). - ISSN 1389-9341 - p. 97 - 105.
    Forests - Certification - Russia - Forest stewardship council - Contentious politics
    When do contentious politics arise around forest certification? In Russia, forestry firms have adopted Forest Stewardship Council certification more rapidly and with fewer challenges in Northwestern regions than in the Russian Far East. In 2011–2012, contentious politics broke out in response to a revision of Russia's national FSC standards. This case allows us to build upon and extend arguments about how domestic conditions shape actors' responses to private environmental governance. Regional variation in Russia suggests that collective mobilization to weaken certification is more likely to emerge under conditions of high levels of biodiversity, proximity to markets that are not sensitive to certification, and low penetration by multinational firms. However, the key factor facilitating collective action in this case was the emergence of an industry-government alliance that was rooted in prior industry-government collusion on the illegal logging, mutual investments in wood, and a lack of knowledge about FSC certification. Contentious politics gave way to constructive negotiations between stakeholders in 2013–2017 following the construction of several forums of negotiation.
    Understanding the potential of eco-certification in salmon and shrimp aquaculture value chains
    Bush, Simon R. - \ 2018
    Aquaculture 493 (2018). - ISSN 0044-8486 - p. 376 - 383.
    Certification - Global value chains - Improvement - Producer capability - Production risk - Sustainability
    This paper examines how value chain coordination affects the ability of aquaculture producers to engage in eco-certification. Through a comparison of global salmon and shrimp value chains, it is argued that production risks and producer capacity are key determinants in the type of chain coordination adopted by lead firms. The results challenge global value chain governance theory by indicating that it is hierarchical (or vertically integrated) forms of coordination that are associated with high capabilities and low risk rather than market forms of coordination. It is also shown that eco-certification is more likely to be adopted in value chains with more engaged forms of coordination. This in turn means that eco-certification is a far less 'hands off' form of regulation than widely thought. The paper concludes that for certification to engage producers operating under market forms of chain coordination new arrangements are needed that can respond to challenges of improving producer capability and production risk. Statement of relevance: By understanding the role of risk and producer capability this paper contributes to improving the application and impact of eco-certification in global aquaculture production.
    Consumers’ familiarity with and attitudes towards food quality certifications for rice and vegetables in Vietnam
    My, Nguyen H.D. ; Rutsaert, Pieter ; Loo, Ellen J. Van; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2017
    Food Control 82 (2017). - ISSN 0956-7135 - p. 74 - 82.
    Attitude - Certification - Consumer - Food - Quality - Rice - Safety - Vegetables - Vietnam

    This study investigates consumers’ attitudes towards, and familiarity with, food quality certification in selected urban areas in the South of Vietnam. Cross-sectional data were collected by means of a consumer survey (n = 500). Consumers’ awareness of food quality-related terms was relatively low. Less than half the participants claimed to understand the meaning of good agricultural practices (GAP), organic food and sustainability. Consumers’ familiarity with food quality certification (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP), Global Good Agricultural Practices (GLOBALG.A.P.), organic, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)) was also low. Familiarity with food quality certification was positively associated with general attitude and food choice motives, namely food safety concern, perceived importance of healthy eating, and perceived importance of environmental consequences relating to food purchase. Food safety concern and perceived importance of environmental consequences were positively associated with consumers’ attitudes towards safe vegetables, as well as high quality rice. Perceived importance of healthy eating was positively related to attitude towards high quality rice. Findings suggest that food safety aspects of safe vegetables and high quality rice should be emphasized during policy and marketing activities for food quality certification. Additionally, an increase in the perceived importance of environmental consequences relating to quality food purchase should be encouraged to enhance positive consumer attitudes towards quality food. Efforts to improve public awareness and knowledge of food quality certification and sustainable agricultural practices in developing countries such as Vietnam are highly recommended.

    Impact assessment of commodity standards : Towards inclusive value chains
    Ruben, Ruerd - \ 2017
    Enterprise Development and Microfinance 28 (2017)1-2. - ISSN 1755-1978 - p. 82 - 97.
    Certification - Commodity standards - Impact - Smallholders - Tropical agro-food crops

    Voluntary commodity standards are widely used to enhance the performance of tropical agro-food chains and to support the welfare and sustainability of smallholder farmers. Different methods and approaches are used to assess the effectiveness and impact of these certification schemes at farm-household, village, cooperative, and regional level. We provide an overview of the results from robust impact studies on coffee, tea, banana, cocoa, and cotton certification programmes. Overall outcomes show rather modest net revenue effects for farmers, small direct income effect for wage workers, and contested sustainability effects. Most impact studies focus on primary sourcing, but devote less attention to changes in trust and governance throughout the value chain. Moreover, implications for gender issues and supply chain trust are not always fully addressed. In order to better understand these somewhat disappointing effects, we discuss different fallacies and drawbacks that affect impact studies concerning commodity certification programmes. Main attention is given to perverse incentives for intensification and specialization that arise from certification. Moreover, spillovers to other (non-certified) farmers and spatial externalities at landscape level may reduce net effects. Important secondary effects related to behavioural change (risk, trust) and local innovation dynamics are usually overlooked. Current practices in value chain development programmes should focus increasingly on dynamic effects of upgrading and improved market integration. New interactive impact assessment approaches (gaming, multi-agency simulation) that address integrated value chain relationships offer promising perspectives for real-time and systematic analysis of alternatives for smallholder value chain inclusion beyond certification.

    Mainstreaming biodiversity in economic sectors : An analytical framework
    Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia ; Kok, Marcel T.J. ; Visseren-Hamakers, Ingrid J. ; Termeer, Katrien - \ 2017
    Biological Conservation 210 (2017). - ISSN 0006-3207 - p. 145 - 156.
    Biodiversity - Certification - Forests - Governance - Integration - Mainstreaming

    One of the major challenges in halting biodiversity loss is finding ways to address the issue in places where it would matter most; in the economic sectors of society that exert the strongest pressures on biodiversity such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Governments have acknowledged the need for this so termed mainstreaming under the Convention on Biological Diversity, but in practice have made little progress and struggle to find ways forward. In this paper we argue that the concept of mainstreaming was originally developed for situations where governments or intergovernmental organizations with explicit public mandates took the lead, but it is increasingly extended into various governance contexts where multiple types of actors at different levels (could) engage in conserving biodiversity. This paper aims to enable the identification of innovative repertoires of mainstreaming opportunities that optimally and realistically benefits from the broader governance context. Therefore it presents a framework, consisting of institutional, motivational and means dimensions for identifying key barriers and levers for mainstreaming biodiversity into economic sectors. By applying the framework on the forestry sector we show that it does not only help to identify new mainstreaming opportunities but it also shows directions for improving existing schemes as well.

    Diffusion of global sustainability standards : The institutional fit of the ASC-Shrimp standard in Indonesia
    Schouten, Greetje ; Vellema, Sietze ; Wijk, J. van - \ 2016
    RAE Revista de Administracao de Empresas 56 (2016)4. - ISSN 0034-7590 - p. 411 - 423.
    Certification - Indonesia - Institutional change - Shrimp - Sustainability standards

    The past two decades saw a rapid proliferation of sustainability standards created by multi-stakeholder partnerships of multinationals and international NGOs. This paper argues that the transformative capacity of these global partnerships to bring about sustainable change largely depends on how well the institutional features of global sustainability standards fit local organizational fields. This paper therefore aims to unravel the dynamics of global-local interactions. To this end, the concept of institutional fit is operationalized to assess whether and how the technical, cultural and political characteristics intrinsic to global sustainability standards are able to connect to local projects, strategies and practices. The introduction of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council's standard into the Indonesian shrimp sector is used as a case to investigate these interactions. This paper shows that a process of fitting occurs when provisional institutions generated within a global partnership can be modified. We argue that global sustainability standards can benefit from steering more explicitly on dovetailing regulative and normative structures of global and local organizational fields. Local NGOs can play important mediating roles in this regard, which can potentially increase the transformative capacity of global standards in terms of generating and accelerating sustainable change.

    The Ambivalent Impact of Coffee Certification on Farmers' Welfare : A Matched Panel Approach for Cooperatives in Central Kenya
    Rijsbergen, Bart van; Elbers, Willem ; Ruben, Ruerd ; Njuguna, Samuel N. - \ 2016
    World Development 77 (2016). - ISSN 0305-750X - p. 277 - 292.
    Certification - Coffee - Cooperatives - Kenya - Panel data

    Certification is promoted to improve rural welfare through better market access and improved agricultural practices. We compare net effects of Fairtrade- and Utz-Certified coffee production in Central Kenya, using a matched panel from 218 farm-households that belong to three cooperatives and were visited twice in 2009 and 2013. We distinguish between effects at field, farm, household, cooperative, community, and market levels. Both certification regimes improved coffee returns, but Fairtrade was more effective in coffee processing, whereas Utz contributed to productivity. Under stagnating coffee prices, Fairtrade farmers increased their coffee specialization, while Utz farmers reduced coffee areas but increased yield.

    Fishers, Fair Trade, and finding middle ground
    Bailey, Megan ; Bush, Simon ; Oosterveer, Peter ; Larastiti, Laksmi - \ 2016
    Fisheries Research 182 (2016). - ISSN 0165-7836 - p. 59 - 68.
    Certification - Fair Trade - Middlemen - Patron-client - Small-scale fisheries - Value chains

    The goal of Fair Trade certification is to contribute to sustainable development by offering trading conditions that are transparent and equitable. One important condition is improved market access and strengthened producer organizations. In regions like Southeast Asia this goal can be hard to achieve in value chains where local middlemen play a central role in not only trading fish, but also providing fishers with access to capital, infrastructure and essential services. Despite these contributions, Fair Trade principles presume that middlemen adversely control market benefits that should accrue to primary producers. The social and economic contributions of middlemen, and the potentially dependent relationship fishers have with them, is therefore a controversial issue if Fair Trade fish is going to be marketed as a product capable of improving fisher livelihoods. In this paper, we explore the role of middlemen in the first ever Fair Trade USA fishery: handline-caught yellowfin tuna from Molucca in Indonesia. Interviews with fishers, middlemen, the local processor and those involved in Fair Trade implementation were conducted and analzed to understand changes to the organization of the value chain and of the community by defining how middlemen contribute to the assets and capabilities of fishers. The results indicate that middlemen contribute but also control the full range of assets required to enable fishers to fulfill their value chain functions. Introduction of Fair Trade has facilitated a rapid reorganization of value chain structure in the fishery with notable impacts on fisher perceptions of the resource and the market. However, it remains unclear what this value chain reorganization means for community structure. The opportunities and challenges for Fair Trade USA fish to be an empowering force depend heavily on fisher-middlemen dynamics being adequately considered.

    Promoting selective fisheries through certification? An analysis of the PNA unassociated-sets purse seine fishery
    Groeneveld, R.A. ; Quaas, Martin F. - \ 2016
    Fisheries Research 182 (2016). - ISSN 0165-7836 - p. 69 - 78.
    Certification - Economics - Pacific Ocean - Purse seine - Tuna

    The certification by the Marine Stewardship Council of the unassociated-sets purse seine fishery of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) has the potential to improve stocks of the fishery's main three tuna species, as well as to allow the PNA to extract more resource rents from the fishery. In this paper we analyze the economic and biological effects of this certification with a tractable bioeconomic model. We find that under plausible assumptions certification of tuna from the PNA unassociated-sets purse seine fishery can enhance stock size of skipjack tuna and bigeye tuna, but is likely to reduce stocks of yellowfin tuna due to the unassociated-sets fishery's high catch rate for this stock. The PNA's access fee declines in most scenarios considered.

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