Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The agency of global sustainability certifications in developing countries : the Rainforest Alliance and the Sri Lankan tea industry
Author: Munasinghe, Munasinghe Amila Thusha Kumari
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 5190
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study investigates how a private, voluntary North American-based sustainability certification, Rainforest Alliance, is implemented in the Sri Lankan tea industry. A case study is developed from an extensive six month period of fieldwork in Sri Lanka. The analysis is guided by Actor-Network Theory to understand the effects of the Rainforest Alliance certification as it is enacted and co-produced in the local context. The initial adoption of Rainforest Alliance by leading multinationals alters local tea market dynamics and creates market pressure that leads to the adoption of the certification by some local supply chain actors. Rainforest Alliance is inscribed in a local accountability standard that leads to changes in the management, accounting and agricultural practices of certified tea producers. Rainforest Alliance is translated locally primarily as a means for differentiating tea quality and ensuring commercial sustainability, rather than as an indicator of agricultural or environmental sustainability. Whilst investigating the local adoption of Rainforest Alliance, the study uncovers some unexpected consequences. Despite being the purported beneficiaries of sustainability certifications, tea smallholders are explicitly disadvantaged due to their inability to control growing conditions even though they are responsible for approximately three quarters of tea production. The study illustrates how local conditions and circumstances are often ignored as certifications are pushed onto local producers and local supply chains.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HF5601 Accounting