Fair Trade Coffee in Nicaragua
— Impacts of certified production on cooperatives, farmers and laborers
Coffee production and trade can offer insights into relations between the wealthy and the poor, processes of globalization, regulation of agricultural commodity markets, and new governance mechanisms, such as certification systems, in the global economy. In recent decades, Fair Trade has emerged as a major certification system and a global social movement aiming to improve the situation of farmers and workers in developing countries. Focusing on Nicaragua, this dissertation evaluates the degree to which Fair Trade transforms conventional trade relationships into more equitable ones and the extent to which Fair Trade involves different actors in governing coffee production and trade. Particular attention is paid to how Fair Trade price mechanisms function in practice, the possibilities for improving labor conditions of hired workers, the challenges and opportunities of Fair Trade/organic coffee production and the distribution of value between different actors in coffee value chains. The dissertation consists of four articles published in renowned international journals in 2009–2014 and a synopsis.