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Impacts of Fair Trade certification on coffee farmers, cooperatives, and laborers in Nicaragua

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  • Joni Valkila

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  • Anja Nygren
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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes the possibilities and challenges of Fair Trade certification as a movement seeking to improve the well-being of small-scale coffee growers and coffee laborers in the global South. Six months of fieldwork was conducted in 2005–2006 to study the roles of a wide range of farmers, laborers, cooperative administrators, and export companies in Fair Trade coffee production and trade in Nicaragua. The results of our evaluation of the ability of Fair Trade to meet its objectives indicate that Fair Trade’s opportunities to provide a significant price premium for participating farmers largely depend on world coffee prices in mainstream markets. While Fair Trade has promoted premiums for social development for participating producers and strengthened the institutional capacities of the cooperatives involved, its ability to enhance significantly the working conditions of hired coffee laborers remains limited. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10460-009-9208-7
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 321-333

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:27:y:2010:i:3:p:321-333

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460

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    Related research

    Keywords: Certification; Coffee cooperatives; Fair Trade; Labor conditions; Nicaragua; Producers; Social premium;

    References

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    1. Kilian, Bernard & Jones, Connie & Pratt, Lawrence & Villalobos, Andres, 2006. "Is sustainable agriculture a viable strategy to improve farm income in Central America? A case study on coffee," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 322-330, March.
    2. Taylor, Peter Leigh, 2005. "In the Market But Not of It: Fair Trade Coffee and Forest Stewardship Council Certification as Market-Based Social Change," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 129-147, January.
    3. Ponte, Stefano, 2002. "The 'Latte Revolution'? Regulation, Markets and Consumption in the Global Coffee Chain," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1099-1122, July.
    4. Aimee Shreck, 2005. "Resistance, redistribution, and power in the Fair Trade banana initiative," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 17-29, 03.
    5. Muradian, Roldan & Pelupessy, Wim, 2005. "Governing the coffee chain: The role of voluntary regulatory Systems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2029-2044, December.
    6. Laura Raynolds & Douglas Murray & Andrew Heller, 2007. "Regulating sustainability in the coffee sector: A comparative analysis of third-party environmental and social certification initiatives," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 147-163, June.
    7. Raynolds, Laura T., 2004. "The Globalization of Organic Agro-Food Networks," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 725-743, May.
    8. Laura T. Raynolds & Douglas Murray & Peter Leigh Taylor, 2004. "Fair trade coffee: building producer capacity via global networks," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(8), pages 1109-1121.
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    Cited by:
    1. Verena Bitzer & Pieter Glasbergen & Bas Arts, 2013. "Exploring the potential of intersectoral partnerships to improve the position of farmers in global agrifood chains: findings from the coffee sector in Peru," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 5-20, March.

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