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Will « We » Achieve the Millennium Development Goals with Small-Scale Coffee Growers and Their Cooperatives? A Case Study Evaluating Fair Trade and Organic Coffee Networks in Northern Nicaragua

Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, UC Santa Cruz. Research brief #12, Spring 2008

Christopher M. Bacon,, V. Ernesto Mendez, Maria Eugênia Flores, Martha Brown,, 2008

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Résumé :

This research brief examines the livelihoods of small-scale coffee growing households in Nicaragua, comparing those that are selling to certified « specialty » coffee markets with those selling to conventional markets. The study uses the Millennium Development Goals as established by the United Nations in 2000 as a framework for analyzing the current status of 177 Nicaraguan households involved in small-scale coffee production. The authors conclude that, despite some recent gains in terms of coffee price increases, small-scale growers—no matter whether they sell to certified or conventional markets—are in fact losing economic ground due to declining real prices and the rising costs of sustainable production, a situation that needs to be addressed by the coffee industry, certification groups, producer organizations, and governments.