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Governing fair trade coffee supply: dynamics and challenges in small farmers' organizations

Ortiz-Miranda, Dionisio and Moragues Faus, Ana 2015. Governing fair trade coffee supply: dynamics and challenges in small farmers' organizations. Sustainable Development 23 (1) , pp. 41-54. 10.1002/sd.1570

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Farmers' organizations are essential actors in fair trade certification schemes, and therefore in delivering their associated benefits for poor small-scale farmers. However, the dynamics and challenges faced by these cooperative organizations have been largely bypassed in the fair trade literature. In this context, this paper aims to unpack the multiple, coexisting and interwoven marketing channels available for small-scale coffee producers, unveiling potential sources of uncertainty and tensions among competing actors and interests, and identifying and assessing the strategies used by organizations to influence farmers' marketing decisions. The analysis comprises two case studies based in the department of Huehuetenango (Guatemala), where the existence of distinct marketing channels combines with processes of product differentiation, namely organic production. Results show the limitations of standard fair trade mechanisms to secure farmers' engagement with cooperative organizations. Rather, technical advice to improve farming practices and quality construction seem to be a more effective mechanism to govern this collective supply chain. Nevertheless, these strategies could be further constrained by productive and organizational factors, affecting the sustainability of potential benefits delivered by these key collective actors.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fair trade; coffee; Guatemala; small-scale farmers; cooperatives; organic; sustainable supply chain governance; upgrading strategies.
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0968-0802
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:03

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