Global value chains and the implications for plantation workers’ livelihoods in Central-America


annelien.jpgAnnelien is a PhD student at the department for Agricultural Economics and involved in an interdisciplinary research project with Deborah Martens, PhD student of the Centre for EU Studies. She is interested in fair trade issues, civil society action, corporate social responsibility and the creation of sustainable value chains.
Annelien holds an MA in Human Nutrition and Rural Development – Rural Economics and Management (2014) from Ghent University, where she studied the risk management strategies of subsistence coffee farmers in the Ecuadorian Amazon region, and a BA in Social Economic Sciences (2012) from the University of Antwerp. She gained professional experience at the Centre for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia in the impact assessment team of the Fair Trade USA coffee plantation pilot programmes in Peru, Nicaragua and Brazil.


The research project focusses on the social and rural development implications of EU trade arrangements with Central-American countries, in particular the consequences of (non-) traditional agricultural exports for plantation workers’ livelihoods. She examines the role of codes of conduct and the collaboration/conflict among chain actors for guaranteeing decent labour conditions on the ground. The research benefits from a multilevel approach at the intersection of political economy, global value chain governance and locally embedded labour-capital relations. Fieldwork was conducted in the booming pineapple sector of Costa Rica in May 2015 and January-June 2016. This research project is supported by a four-year BOF doctoral scholarship (Special Research Fund) of Ghent University.

Supervision: Marijke D’Haese (Promotor) ; Jan Orbie (Co-promotor) Centre for EU Studies


Global value chain governance, pineapple sector Costa Rica, labour conditions, codes of conduct, workers’ organization

Contact details

Office A2.096
Coupure Links 653, 9000 Gent
09/264 62 04

global1.jpg global2.jpg global3.jpg global4.jpg