Worker welfare on Kenyan export vegetable farms

Lead author: Christoph Ehlert       Year: 2014      

ISO R&I Team Summary

In this paper the authors analyse the impact of GlobalGAP on workers welfare and whether the farm size affects that impact. They measure welfaire in terms of human capital, income, physical and mental health. In response to their hypothesis, the find that certification with GlobalGAP does have a positive impact on human capital accumulation, including better wages for workers on larger farms, but they also suffer more health issues than on small farms.


Publication Abstract

The paper analyses farm worker welfare on three different types of farms in Kenya producing vegetables for export. The three types of farms differ by certification to international production standards as well as by size. A multidimensional approach measures welfare using human capital, income, physical and mental health, and life satisfaction. The findings suggest that GlobalGAP certification has a positive impact on worker welfare as farm workers are given more training. Workers on large certified farms earn more than those on small farms but also show more health problems. Certification on small farms is associated with higher satisfaction of workers with their life compared to workers on non-certified small farms. From a development policy perspective this paper does not support a clear cut policy on which types of farm to support as overall benefits of a support strategy will depend of the number of beneficiaries reached through the different farm types.


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  • Publication type:

    • Journal article
  • Other authors:

    • Christoph Ehlert
    • Dagmar Mithöfer
    • Hermann Waibel
  • Countries:

    • Kenya