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Fair Trade organic coffee production in Nicaragua -- Sustainable development or a poverty trap?

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  • Valkila, Joni
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    Abstract

    This article assesses the impact of Fair Trade organic coffee production on the well-being of small-scale farmers in Nicaragua. Studying the results of organic management is crucial for evaluating the advantages of Fair Trade because approximately half of all Fair Trade coffee is also organically certified. A wide range of farmers, representatives of cooperatives and export companies in Nicaragua were interviewed during seven months of field work between 2005 and 2008. Fair Trade organic production raises farmer income when low-intensity organic farming is an alternative to low-intensity conventional farming. However, low-intensity farming produces very little coffee in the case of the most marginalized farmers, keeping these farmers in poverty. With higher intensities of management, the economic advantages of Fair Trade organic production largely depend on prices in the mainstream market.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 12 (October)
    Pages: 3018-3025

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:12:p:3018-3025

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Organic agriculture Fair Trade Certification Coffee Nicaragua;

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    Cited by:
    1. Ruben, Ruerd & Fort, Ricardo, 2012. "The Impact of Fair Trade Certification for Coffee Farmers in Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 570-582.
    2. Peter Griffiths, 2012. "Ethical Objections to Fairtrade," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 105(3), pages 357-373, February.
    3. Gaëlle BALINEAU, 2012. "Disentangling the Effects of Fair Trade on the Quality of Malian Cotton," Working Papers P39, FERDI.
    4. Céline Guimas, 2012. "Effect of organic contract farming on labor demand. A study case in the Western Uganda," Post-Print dumas-00802135, HAL.
    5. Dammert, Ana C. & Mohan, Sarah, 2014. "A Survey of the Economics of Fair Trade," IZA Discussion Papers 8167, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Donovan, Jason & Poole, Nigel, 2014. "Changing asset endowments and smallholder participation in higher value markets: Evidence from certified coffee producers in Nicaragua," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-13.
    7. Leander Raes & Nikolay Aguirre & Marijke D’Haese & Guido Huylenbroeck, 2014. "Analysis of the cost-effectiveness for ecosystem service provision and rural income generation: a comparison of three different programs in Southern Ecuador," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 471-498, June.
    8. Barham, Bradford L. & Weber, Jeremy G., 2012. "The Economic Sustainability of Certified Coffee: Recent Evidence from Mexico and Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1269-1279.
    9. Linda Kleemann & Awudu Abdulai, 2012. "Organic Certification, Agro-Ecological Practices and Return on Investment: Farm Level Evidence from Ghana," Kiel Working Papers 1816, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    10. Agni Kalfagianni, 2014. "Addressing the Global Sustainability Challenge: The Potential and Pitfalls of Private Governance from the Perspective of Human Capabilities," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 122(2), pages 307-320, June.
    11. Balineau, Gaëlle, 2013. "Disentangling the Effects of Fair Trade on the Quality of Malian Cotton," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 241-255.
    12. Linda Kleemann & Awudu Abdulai & Mareike Buss, 2013. "Is Organic Farming Worth its Investment? The Adoption and Impact of Certified Pineapple Farming in Ghana," Kiel Working Papers 1856, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    13. Joni Valkila & Pertti Haaparanta & Niina Niemi, 2010. "Empowering Coffee Traders? The Coffee Value Chain from Nicaraguan Fair Trade Farmers to Finnish Consumers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 97(2), pages 257-270, December.
    14. Donovan, J. & Poole, N., 2011. "Value chain development and rural poverty reduction: asset building by smallholder coffee producers in Nicaragua," Working Papers 2011271, World Agroforestry Centre, Library Department.
    15. Blackman, Allen & Rivera, Jorge, 2010. "The Evidence Base for Environmental and Socioeconomic Impacts of “Sustainable” Certification," Discussion Papers dp-10-17, Resources For the Future.
    16. Hannes Koppel & Günther Schulze, 2013. "The Importance of the Indirect Transfer Mechanism for Consumer Willingness to Pay for Fair Trade Products—Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 369-387, December.
    17. Oelofse, Myles & Høgh-Jensen, Henning & Abreu, Lucimar S. & Almeida, Gustavo F. & Hui, Qiao Yu & Sultan, Tursinbek & de Neergaard, Andreas, 2010. "Certified organic agriculture in China and Brazil: Market accessibility and outcomes following adoption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1785-1793, July.
    18. Vincent Terstappen & Lori Hanson & Darrell McLaughlin, 2013. "Gender, health, labor, and inequities: a review of the fair and alternative trade literature," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 21-39, March.
    19. Kleemann, Linda & Abdulai, Awudu, 2013. "Organic certification, agro-ecological practices and return on investment: Evidence from pineapple producers in Ghana," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 330-341.
    20. Gaëlle BALINEAU, 2012. "Disentangling the Effects of Fair Trade on the Quality of Malian Cotton," Working Papers P39, FERDI.
    21. Elisabeth Nindl, 2014. "An empirical assessment of Fairtrade: A perspective for low- and middle-income countries?," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp160, Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics.
    22. Barham, Bradford L. & Callenes, Mercedez & Gitter, Seth & Lewis, Jessa & Weber, Jeremy, 2011. "Fair Trade/Organic Coffee, Rural Livelihoods, and the "Agrarian Question": Southern Mexican Coffee Families in Transition," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 134-145, January.

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