Co-operation or Capture? The politics of private partnerships for sustainable coffee agro-forestrywca2014-2007 Arshiya Bose 1,* 1Geography, University of Cambridge, Bangalore, India
This presentation explores the politics of partnering with private actors in pursuing environmental sustainability in coffee production. Drawing on empirical research carried out in the Western Ghats, India, this paper shows that certification schemes and other forms of voluntary regulatory regimes for sustainable coffee present complex outcomes for biodiversity conservation and farmer livelihoods. In particular, competing interests, institutional design and governance structure of such public-private partnerships allow the regulatory process to be captured by powerful private actors. In the context of sustainable coffee,evidence shows that shade-grown certification schemes are modified and diluted such that they are made buyer-driven rather than producer or sustainability drivem. This presentation argues that mutural co-operation and successful partnerships are more likely to emerge and be sustained when both partners have sufficient resources, power and willingness to implement the regulatory regime in synergy with the overall purpose of sustainable agro-forestry.