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Dr Amanda Berlan

Job: Reader in Business & Sustainability

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester Castle Business School

Address: De Montfort University

T: +44 (0)116 201 3811

E: amanda.berlan@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://lcbs.ac.uk

 

Personal profile

Dr Amanda Berlan is Reader in Business & Sustainability at Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University. Amanda previously held research and teaching posts at Coventry University (2013-2016), the University of Manchester (2009-2012) and the University of Oxford (2006-2009). A Social Anthropologist by training, her broad interest is in the field of sustainable agriculture, with a particular focus on cocoa and the chocolate industry.

She has taught, researched, consulted, published and reviewed in the areas of:

  • Cocoa production (Productivity, disease/pest management, training & agricultural extension services, organic production)
  • Child rights (child labour, education, hunger & malnutrition, gender)
  • Corporate social responsibility & business ethics (certification, supply chain management, governance and partnerships, waste and sustainability)
  • Research methods (qualitative research methods, surveys, child-focused participatory research methods, impact evaluation)

Amanda is keen to promote a better understanding of sustainability issues based on high quality empirical research. She has carried out extensive fieldwork with cocoa-producing communities in West Africa, India and the Caribbean and has 19 years’ experience in the sector. She has worked and consulted with a wide range of stakeholders including private companies, non-profit/educational organisations, UN agencies and the public sector and her work has been featured in specialist and mainstream media. She serves as a Senior Adviser for the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute and has been a Board member of Goodweave UK since 2013. Amanda holds a DPhil, MPhil and BA from the University of Oxford, UK.

Publications and outputs 

Journal articles

2016 “Whose Business is it Anyway: Children and Corporate Social Responsibility in the International Business Agenda” policy review in Children & Society, 30(2), pp. 159–168

2013 “Social sustainability in agriculture: an anthropological perspective on child labour” in the Journal of Development Studies (ABS 3*), 49(8), pp.1088-1100

2009 “Child labour in cocoa: whose voices prevail?” (2009) in the special issue of The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy on ‘Working Children in the 21st century’, vol. 29, issue 3/4, p.141-151

2008 “Making or marketing a difference? An anthropological examination of the marketing of Fair Trade cocoa from Ghana” (2008) in Research in Economic Anthropology, 28, pp.171-194

Book chapters

2018 “Organic cocoa cultivation”, Chapter 30 in Achieving sustainable cultivation of cocoa, Umaharan, P. (ed.). Cambridge, UK: Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Cambridge

2014 “Of red herrings and immutabilities: rethinking Fairtrade’s ethic of relationality among cocoa producers” (with Dolan, C.) in Food Transgressions, Goodman, M. and Sage, C. (eds). Farnham: Ashgate

2012 “Good chocolate? An examination of ethical consumption in cocoa” in Ethical consumption: social value and economic practice, Carrier, J. and Luetchford, P. (eds). New York: Berghahn

2011 “Case study of Chocolate” in The Politics of Fairtrade, Warrier, M. (ed.). London: Routledge

2004 “Child labour, education and child rights among cocoa producers in Ghana” in The Political Economy of New Slavery, van den Anker, C. (ed.). New York: Palgrave

Commissioned research, policy reports and impact work

2019 Commissioned by the International Labour Organisation to contribute a paper on the supply-side factors leading to vulnerability to forced labour and child labour in global supply chains and support the production of the ILO report Child labour and forced labour in global supply chains

2017 Commissioned by the International Labour Organisation to write an Issues paper on child labour and forced labour in global supply chains for the 4th Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour held in Buenos Aires 14-17 November 2017

2014 Commissioned to review the literature on child labour in West African cocoa for the International Cocoa Initiative Labour Market Research Study, International Cocoa Initiative, Geneva, Switzerland

2013 Co-authored the report “Cocoa production in the Dominican Republic: sustainability, challenges and opportunities” with Dr Ame Bergés. This report was the basis for a £3.2 million private sector investment to support the Dominican cocoa industry.

2012 Co-authored the report “Social and Economic Sustainability in the Cocoa Value Chain in India” commissioned by the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership with Professor Sukhpal Singh and Professor Stephanie Barrientos

2008 Commissioned to research the impact of Fairtrade on poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and social empowerment in the banana sector in Ghana by the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Sussex, U.K.

Peer-reviewed conference papers

2018 “Impact and transparency in the cocoa/chocolate supply chain: an anthropological perspective”. Chocolate Conservatory, Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute and Harvard University, Cambridge, USA, 11-12 October.

2018 “Governance and change: an analysis of sectoral needs and sustainability in the global chocolate industry”. 24th International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference, Messina, Italy 13-15 June.

2017What works? A review of the contribution academic knowledge can make to building a stronger and more resilient cocoa economy”. International Symposium on cocoa research, Lima, Peru, 13-17 November.

2017 “We Make It For You, With Love’: Examining white guilt, racial inequality and the crafting of social identity through chocolate marketing” (with Martin, C.D.). British Academy/British Academy of Management/University of London Research Workshop onMaking people feel bad: What is the role of negative appeals in marketing?” Queen Mary, University of London, 24th April.

2016 “Sustainability in the cocoa industry: an examination of the role of context in productivity initiatives.” Sustainable Supply Chains and International Trade session, 22nd Annual Conference of the International Sustainable Development Research Society, Lisbon, Portugal, 13-15 July.

2016 “The future of chocolate: an anthropological examination of changing patterns of production and consumption and corporate responses.” Food and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century: Anthropological and Multidisciplinary perspectives, Liverpool University, Liverpool, UK, 28 June-2 July.

2014 “Pathways to sustainability in cocoa production: how can business secure the long-term future of chocolate?” Globalisation and Sustainability track, International Conference of the Association of Global Management Studies, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 20 May.

2012 “The future of cocoa farming: the challenges and opportunities of social rejuvenation.”

Cocoa Farming and Sustainability track, First Conference on the Economics and Politics of Chocolate, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 17 September.

2011 “Challenges and prospects for Dominican cocoa,” presented with Dr A. Bergés. The Dominican Republic: Issues and Prospects, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, London, UK, 6 May.

2011 “Performance in agricultural social enterprises: confronting the productivity gap, breaking the poverty cycle and securing food sustainability.” Performance and Legitimacy in Social Enterprises, HEC Management School, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium, 4 March.

2011 “Growing well but growing poor? An analysis of spending and productivity among cocoa farmers in the Dominican Republic.” SOAS Food Forum, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London, UK, 4 February.

2010 “Promoting sustainability in agriculture: a case study from the Caribbean.” Business and Development: Taking Debates Forward Seminar, Development Studies Association's Business and Development Study Group, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, 28 June.

2010 “The role of social entrepreneurship and cooperatives in Fairtrade.” Skoll Centre 2010 Research Colloquium on Social Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 22-25 June.

2009 “The impact of Fairtrade on producer communities.” Fairtrade under academic scrutiny: what can critical research be good for?, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, 1 October.

2009 “Pathways to international development: examining the changing roles of co-operatives in ethical trade and sustainable agriculture.” Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation Conference, Ottawa, Canada, 27-29 May.

2009 “Bringing academia into policy: an examination of the challenges of Fairtrade.” Uniting research, policy and practice in Fairtrade: a knowledge exchange workshop, Cardiff, Wales, 20-21 April.

2008 “The challenges of chocolate: an examination of the ethics of consuming and producing chocolate.” European Association of Social Anthropology, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 27 August.

Research interests/expertise

  • Business ethics
  • Sustainability
  • Cocoa production and chocolate
  • Child Labour
  • Fairtrade and food certification
  • Supply Chains
  • Global Food Systems

Areas of teaching

  • Sustainability
  • Business ethics/Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Child Rights
  • Qualitative research methods
  • International Development

Qualifications

  • DPhil in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, 2001-2006
  • M.A. (Distinction) Social & Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, 1999-2001
  • B.A. (Hons) Modern Languages, University of Oxford, 1994-1998

Conference attendance

2016 “Sustainability in the cocoa industry: an examination of the role of context in productivity initiatives.” Sustainable Supply Chains and International Trade session, 22nd Annual Conference of the International Sustainable Development Research Society, Lisbon, Portugal, 13-15 July.

2016 “The future of chocolate: an anthropological examination of changing patterns of production and consumption and corporate responses.” Food and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century: Anthropological and Multidisciplinary perspectives, Liverpool University, Liverpool, UK, 28 June-2 July.

2014 “Pathways to sustainability in cocoa production: how can business secure the long-term future of chocolate?” Globalisation and Sustainability track, International Conference of the Association of Global Management Studies, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 20 May.

2012 “The future of cocoa farming: the challenges and opportunities of social rejuvenation.”

Cocoa Farming and Sustainability track, First Conference on the Economics and Politics of Chocolate, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 17 September.

2011 “Challenges and prospects for Dominican cocoa,” presented with Dr A. Bergés. The Dominican Republic: Issues and Prospects, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, London, UK, 6 May.

2011 “Performance in agricultural social enterprises: confronting the productivity gap, breaking the poverty cycle and securing food sustainability.” Performance and Legitimacy in Social Enterprises, HEC Management School, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium, 4 March.

2011 “Growing well but growing poor? An analysis of spending and productivity among cocoa farmers in the Dominican Republic.” SOAS Food Forum, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London, UK, 4 February.

2010 “Promoting sustainability in agriculture: a case study from the Caribbean.” Business and Development: Taking Debates Forward Seminar, Development Studies Association's Business and Development Study Group, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, 28 June.

2010 “The role of social entrepreneurship and cooperatives in Fairtrade.” Skoll Centre 2010 Research Colloquium on Social Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 22-25 June.

2009 “The impact of Fairtrade on producer communities.” Fairtrade under academic scrutiny: what can critical research be good for?, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, 1 October.

2009 “Pathways to international development: examining the changing roles of co-operatives in ethical trade and sustainable agriculture.” Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation Conference, Ottawa, Canada, 27-29 May.

2009 “Bringing academia into policy: an examination of the challenges of Fairtrade.” Uniting research, policy and practice in Fairtrade: a knowledge exchange workshop, Cardiff, Wales, 20-21 April.

2008 “The challenges of chocolate: an examination of the ethics of consuming and producing chocolate.” European Association of Social Anthropology, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 27 August.

Professional esteem indicators

Reviewer for international academic journals: Journal of World Business (ABS 4*, 2016 IF 3.758), Food Policy (ABS 3*, 2016 IF 3.086), World Development (ABS 3*, 2016 IF 2.848), Agriculture and Human Values (2016 IF 2,337), Globalizations (2016 IF 0.926), Journal of International Development (ABS 2*, 2016 IF0.786), American Anthropologist and Third World Thematics and reviewer for book publishers (Oxford University Press; Polity Press) and funding bodies (e.g. ESRC Large Grant Scheme and Food & Business Global Challenges Programme)

Interviewed by Agence France Presse, World Finance Magazine, FACES, Sapiens, Chocolat et Confiserie Magazine; participant in two Guardian Roundtable Discussions on sustainability (2016); submitted evidence to the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and the University of Nottingham on contemporary slavery in the supply chain (2017); submitted evidence to the Institute of Development Studies for UK-government commissioned research on child labour in agriculture (2017); invited speaker at the Primary Food Processors Forum on assessing environmental footprint within the agri-food chain (2017)

Senior Advisor to the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute since 2016

Board member to GoodWeave UK (non-profit organization campaigning to end child labour, forced labour and bonded labour in global supply chains) since 2013

Research students

Lisette Phelan: Soil and water management practices in cocoa production in Ghana and Ecuador (First supervisor, due for submission March 2020)

Tim Messeder: Social and Human Capital in Aquaculture in Uganda (3rd supervisor, due for submission November 2019)

Charlie Rumsby: Ethnicity and identity among stateless Vietnamese children in Cambodia (2nd supervisor, Coventry University, successfully defended in 2019 and passed with no corrections)

Amanda welcomes PhD enquiries from students interested in any of the topics listed in her areas of expertise.

Research grants

2017-2018 Co-investigator on £200,000 grant from the British Academy ‘Tackling Slavery, Human Trafficking and Child Labour in Modern Business’ (PI, Alex Balch, University of Liverpool)

2016 Principal Investigator on £10,000 grant to research waste and sustainability in the cocoa-chocolate supply chain, Coventry University 

2010-2012 Lead Investigator on £185,000 grant to research sustainability in the cocoa sector in India, Cadbury Cocoa Partnership/Kraft Foods

2009-2010 Principal Investigator on £105,000 grant to research the sustainability of the cocoa sector in the Dominican Republic, Green and Black’s/Cadbury Cocoa Partnership. 

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