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Partnerships in fairtrade coffee: a close-up look at how buyers and NGOs build supply capacity in Nicaragua

Donovan, Jason and Poole, Nigel (2014) 'Partnerships in fairtrade coffee: a close-up look at how buyers and NGOs build supply capacity in Nicaragua.' Food Chain, 4 (1). pp. 34-48.

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Abstract

This paper examines efforts by buyers and NGOs to build the supply of Fairtrade coffee from the Nicaragua-based cooperative Soppexcca following the coffee crisis. Support was aimed at transforming Soppexcca into a viable business, able to respond to the needs of its coffee-farming members. Results show that Soppexcca made significant gains, including expansion of infrastructure, growth in membership, and increased financial stability. However, important issues remained, related to democratic governance, future growth and stability, and the provision of services. Results suggest that advances in building cooperatives do not easily translate into increased capacities at the household level. While some important gains were detected, in general, producers struggled to intensify coffee production and take full advantage of their access to preferential markets. This paper makes a plea for deeper discussions about how buyers and NGOs can more effectively contribute to building the supply of high-quality Fairtrade coffee, and the need for increased coordination and mutual learning as part of the process.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: assets, fairtrade, coffee, smallholders, cooperatives, development practice, Nicaragua
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Interdisciplinary Studies > Centre for Development, Environment and Policy
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Finance and Management > Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)
ISSN: 20461879
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.3362/2046-1887.2014.004
Depositing User: Nigel Poole
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2014 10:17
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/18231

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