Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Resource Conservation (International Conservation and Development)

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Jill Belsky

Commitee Members

Kimber Haddix-McKay, Stephen Siebert


agricultural certifications, beekeeping, El Salvador, environmental conservation, rural development


University of Montana


Beekeeping, and especially the production and sale of honey, is an on-farm diversification strategy that has significance to rural livelihoods in some of the most economically and environmentally marginalized regions of the world. Beekeeping also supports sustainable agriculture since it requires that vegetation and forest cover remain intact. However, the limited resources of beekeepers, including marketing constraints, make it difficult for them to realize the full value of their beekeeping enterprises. This professional paper focuses on the Eco-Morazán Cooperative in El Salvador as a case study to examine the costs, benefits and market potential of three types of certification schemes: 1) Fair Trade, 2) Organic, and 3) Rainforest Alliance Certification. The paper draws on information from existing literature, and extended field visits and informal interviews with representatives from the cooperative. It concludes with recommendations on how the cooperative can take advantage of the benefits of these certification schemes. These include suggestions for both the cooperative and Rainforest Alliance initiative, the only one of the three not currently certifying apicultural production.



© Copyright 2008 Jason Andrew Seagle