The Cooperative Movement in Bolivia: Fair Trade in Amazzonia Nuts
The institutions which support fair trade offer solutions capable of combining the benefits of international trade with socially, economically and environmentally sustainable enterprise. The case of the creation of the supply chain for the harvesting and sale of Brazil nuts and its evolution over time is an excellent example of a slow – yet dramatic – social and economic process which began about thirty years ago. Using Social-Economical System approach to the interpretation of social policies capable of using, managing and conserving the commons resources, the paper reveals that full compliance with the principles of cooperation throughout an entire supply chain has succeeded in providing benefits both in economic terms and with regard to the protection of the Amazon rain forest, a strategic natural resource. The supply chain evolved in three crucial phases. The first phase saw the emergence of a modern form of cooperative company – similar to the cooperative firms for the marketing of agricultural produce typical of Italy’s Emilia Region – which formed a network of local communities and individual gatherers. In the second phase, a second cooperative was formed, reinforcing the harvesting, transport and wholesale distribution chain, and finally, the entire supply chain found a market outlet through the action of the retail chains, which on the one hand added the nuts to their product range on a permanent basis, and on the other provided the final consumer with the necessary information about the exact nature of the process and product. Once the chain achieved a good level of operational stability, the reduction in risk for the various segments of the supply chain – especially the final segment, distribution – generated additional benefits for all the stakeholders (reduction in retail prices and an increase in the share of revenues reaching producers).
|Date of creation:||Aug 2008|
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