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Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Can Fair Trade, Organic, and Specialty Coffees Reduce Small-Scale Farmer Vulnerability in Northern Nicaragua?

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  • Bacon, Chris

Abstract

This paper links changing global coffee markets to opportunities and vulnerabilities for sustaining small-scale farmer livelihoods in northern Nicaragua. Changing governance structures, corporate concentration, oversupply, interchangeable commodity grade beans, and low farm gate prices characterize the crisis in conventional coffee markets. In contrast, certified Fair Trade and organic are two alternative forms of specialty coffee trade and production that may offer opportunities for small-scale producers. A research team surveyed 228 farmers to measure the impact of sales on organic and Fair Trade markets. The results suggest that participation in organic and Fair Trade networks reduces farmers’ livelihood vulnerability.

Suggested Citation

  • Bacon, Chris, 2004. "Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Can Fair Trade, Organic, and Specialty Coffees Reduce Small-Scale Farmer Vulnerability in Northern Nicaragua?," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt0xn3f86t, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:glinre:qt0xn3f86t
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reardon, Thomas & Vosti, Stephen A., 1995. "Links between rural poverty and the environment in developing countries: Asset categories and investment poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1495-1506, September.
    2. Jean-Louis COMBES & Patrick GUILLAUMONT, 2000. "Commodity Price Volatility, Vulnerability and Development," Working Papers 200015, CERDI.
    3. Varangis, Panos & Siegel, Paul & Giovannucci, Daniele & Lewin, Bryan, 2003. "Dealing with the coffee crisis in Central America - impacts and strategies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2993, The World Bank.
    4. LeClair, Mark S., 2002. "Fighting the Tide: Alternative Trade Organizations in the Era of Global Free Trade," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 949-958, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Ignacio Staricco, 2016. "Fair Trade and the Fetishization of Levinasian Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 1-16, September.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:45-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. David Phillips, 2014. "Uneven and unequal people-centered development: the case of Fair Trade and Malawi sugar producers," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 31(4), pages 563-576, December.

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