Colombian coffee strategies and the livelihoods of smallholders
The purpose of this paper is to assess the effects that different competitiveness strategies based on commercial quality attributes may have on the livelihoods of small coffee growers in Colombia. Using a combination of global value chain and sustainable livelihood approaches, it appears that the impacts of traditionally applied material quality, symbolic and in-person services characteristics are quite different for the growers. The possibility of smallholders to benefit from quality attributes is greatly influenced by the global chain governance structure imposed by big multinational roasters in developed countries and the National Federation of Coffee Growers who acts as domestic lead firm and official external regulator in Colombia. The unequal power distribution in the chain has effects on growers’ income as they grasp direct benefits from the first transformations of coffee, but are far from the end product that consumers buy. Most of the value added during the coffee trans¬formation process accrues to the consuming country where branding, marketing and advertising are high-value generating activities. From the micro-level perspective it appears that endowments of key assets are not enough for growers to reach the poverty line through coffee production exclusively, while the socio-cultural assets of coffee growing are also threatened by disintegrating pressures from the nearby capital Bogotá. Further material and symbolic quality improvements may benefit the growers but are usually not enough to raise household income above the poverty line. A regional denomination of origin strategy may improve the local economic and cultural sustainability of coffee growing.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2014|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Prinsstraat 13, B-2000 Antwerp|
Phone: +32-(0)3-265 5770
Fax: +32-(0)3-265 5771
Web page: http://www.uantwerpen.be/iob
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Allison, Edward H. & Horemans, Benoit, 2006. "Putting the principles of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach into fisheries development policy and practice," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 757-766, November.
- Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966, July.
- Chambers, R. & Conway, G. R., 1991. "Sustainable rural livelihoods: Practical concepts for the 21st century," IWMI Books, Reports H032821, International Water Management Institute.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iob:dpaper:2014001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Hans De Backer)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.