Review of recent research on the impact of sustainability certification on working conditions on large farms

For this research, SOMO reviewed published evidence about the effectiveness of sustainability certification initiatives on labour conditions at large-scale farms in low- and middle-income countries from 2014-2017. The evidence included field research by SOMO and researchers from SOMO compared this evidence with internationally agreed labour standards.

The study reveals a pattern of recurring labour right violations on farms certified by almost all the well-known sustainability certification initiatives, such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance. Only a handful of studies demonstrate some improvements in working conditions for farm workers as the result of sustainability certification schemes.

SOMO concludes that changes and improvements are urgently needed for ambitious sustainability certification initiatives to help improve working conditions on farms across the developing world.

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