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True price as condition of sustainability: the global coffee crisis (1999-2003) and the Brazilian Amazon as case studies

Abstract : Current approaches to pricing have proved inexplicable and unable to deliver sustainable development. This study explores how the combination of accounting logic and the concept of ‘true price’ — first proposed by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) — can provide a novel, dynamic and comprehensive causal model to understand how prices can contribute to unsustainability. Case studies are used to verify if the purported model is fit for explaining real-world issues, here, farmers facing untrue prices during the global coffee crisis (1999-2003) and on deforestation fronts in the Brazilian Amazon. The analysis of these case studies leads us to framing true prices as a necessary condition of sustainability, although it is probably not the only one. Combining accounting as a gauging tool and true price as a reference point lends both concrete meaning and technical grounding to the notion of sustainability, and guidelines to measure progress toward it. We make recommendations on how producers, consumers, investors, and public policymakers could further true prices and thus support sustainability.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 6, 2020 - 12:03:36 AM
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Xavier Andrillon. True price as condition of sustainability: the global coffee crisis (1999-2003) and the Brazilian Amazon as case studies. Economics and Finance. UNIVERSIDADE ESTADUAL DE CAMPINAS (Brésil), 2020. English. ⟨tel-02910183v2⟩

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