Farmer Preferences for Coffee Certification: A Conjoint Analysis of the Indonesian Smallholders

Muhammad Ibnu, Pieter Glasbergen, Astrid Offermans, Bustanul Arifin


Most coffee certification schemes are developed by Northern-based businesses and NGOs to regulate the production of coffee in the South. It is questionable whether these Northern-driven standards correspond to the preferences of coffee farmers in the South. Understanding farmer preferences and taking them into account when developing or improving certification schemes is believed to lead to more internalized, and therefore more effective standards. However, there is a lack of information on farmer’s preferences, both in the academic literature as well as with the certification programs themselves. Based on conjoint analysis and interviews, this paper investigates the preferences of coffee smallholder farmers in Indonesia. The smallholders surveyed include farmers registered with global certification schemes (i.e. Rainforest Alliance, Utz certified, and 4C), a local certification scheme (Inofice) and uncertified farmers. Results indicate that farmers in the different groups do not differ much in terms of their preferences. Moreover, although farmers value environmental conservation, their preferences regarding certification are mainly economically driven. This leads us to conclude that sustainability certification of coffee is only weakly institutionalized in the farmer’s context.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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