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The need for an integrated comparison of the effectiveness of international sustainable forestry, coffee and cocoa initiatives

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden effectiveness, private sustainability standards, certification, FSC, UTZ Certified
Auteurs Martijn Scheltema
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    To date the effectiveness of private sustainability standards has been assessed from different angles which attribute different meanings to effectiveness. This contribution compares the effectiveness of two international certification initiatives (i.e. sustainable forestry (Forest Stewardship Council, FSC) and sustainable coffee and cacoa (UTZ Certified)) from three different angles (legal, impact, acceptance/legitimacy/governance). Based on publicly available data, it is shown that FSC scores better on some dimensions of these three angles (e.g. enforcement, cost and price premium, and government acceptance), while UTZ Certified scores better on others (e.g. verifiable evaluation criteria, regular evaluation, innovation). Hence, this analysis shows that a comparative evaluation of both initiatives would have been biased if it would have been based on a single angle approach. There is all the more reason to use such an integrated approach, since the different angles are intertwined. Therefore, it has been established that in order to establish the effectiveness of private certification initiatives an integrated approach is needed which combines different angles. This contribution shows such an approach is feasible.


Martijn Scheltema
Martijn Scheltema is professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands). He researches the effectiveness of international private regulation in the CSR arena. He is board member of ACCESS Facility (www.accessfacility.org.) Beside this, he is board member of the CSR committee of the International Bar Association and attorney at law/partner with Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn (The Hague, the Netherlands).
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