Bittersweet cocoa: Certification programmes in Ghana as battlegrounds for power, authority and legitimacy

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_1C6078B7FE13
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Bittersweet cocoa: Certification programmes in Ghana as battlegrounds for power, authority and legitimacy
Journal
Geoforum
Author(s)
Amuzu David, Neimark Benjamin, Kull Christian
ISSN
0016-7185
Publication state
Published
Issued date
11/2022
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
136
Pages
54-67
Language
english
Abstract
Critical studies on the interlinkages of access, power and sustainability in high value tropical commodity systems are gaining traction in the academic literature. This article draws on access theory to examine how the distributional effects of a private sector certification programme on rural cocoa growing communities are bound up in the power relations between the state, private sector actors and smallholders in Ghana. The article is based on a qualitative case study approach involving 40 semi-structured interviews, 20 in-depth interviews and field observations conducted between 2018 and 2021. We found that the private sector firm certification incentives such as premiums, agronomic inputs and technical services are distributed unevenly, and also contribute to increased production costs, theft, unjust gender relations, and labour exploitation. We argue that the certification programmes obfuscate the deteriorating relations between the state and the farmers and enable the private firms to gain foothold and affirm their operational legitimacy and market links with smallholders. We conclude that revising the certification programmes would require market and institutional reform. The revision also needs to take into account the existing structural differences among farmers, and between the state and the market for better sustainable transitions.
Keywords
cocoa, chocolate, fair trade, sustainability certification, labour, power, private sector actors, governance, Ghana, Asunafo
Create date
21/09/2022 10:29
Last modification date
22/09/2022 6:38
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