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

Listed author(s):
  • Valkila, Joni
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    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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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921-8009(09)00274-2
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    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
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    1. Perfecto, Ivette & Vandermeer, John & Mas, Alex & Pinto, Lorena Soto, 2005. "Biodiversity, yield, and shade coffee certification," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 435-446, September.
    2. 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.
    3. Bacon, Christopher M. & Mendez, Ernesto & Fox, Jonathan A, 2008. "Cultivating Sustainable Coffee: Persistent Paradoxes," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt5hb7421j, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    4. Christopher L. Gilbert, 2006. "Value chain analysis and market power in the commodity processing with application to the cocoa and coffee sectors," Department of Economics Working Papers 0605, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    5. 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.
    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;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 24(2), pages 147-163, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Bacon, Christopher, 2005. "Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Can Fair Trade, Organic, and Specialty Coffees Reduce Small-Scale Farmer Vulnerability in Northern Nicaragua?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 497-511, March.
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