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Topics: Fair trade, Coffee, Costa Rica Pages: 31 (13917 words) Published: June 1, 2014
THE IMPACT OF FAIR TRADE ON
PRODUCERS AND THEIR ORGANISATIONS:
A CASE STUDY WITH COOCAFÉ IN COSTA RICA.

LORAINE RONCHI

PRUS WORKING PAPER NO. 11
June 2002

Poverty Research Unit at Sussex
University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton
BN1 9SJ
Tel: 01273 678739
Email:pru@sussex.ac.uk
Website: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Users/PRU

Abstract
Fair Trade attempts to address the poverty issues of small Southern producers through the payment of a ‘fair price’ for their goods and the provision of support services for producer organisations. Although Fair Trade is overwhelmingly identified with the ‘fair price’ paid by participating importers and buyers, sketching the possible avenues of impact reveal that many of the effects of Fair Trade on the quality of life of producers are felt through the organisational development supported by Fair Trade organisations. This study examines the impact of 10 years of Fair Trade in coffee in Costa Rica and reveals the importance of organisational development support for the stakeholders of the nine Costa Rican coffee co-operatives.

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Table of Contents
Preface
1. Introduction ....................................................................................................................1 1.1 Fair Trade.......................................................................................................................1 1.2 Fair Trade, Producer Organisations and Quality of Life ................................................1 1.3 Outline of the Study........................................................................................................3 2. The Case Study..............................................................................................................4 2.1 Coffee in Costa Rica......................................................................................................4 2.2 Fair Trade in Costa Rica................................................................................................4 2.3 Methodology ...................................................................................................................5 3. Impact Analysis...............................................................................................................7 3.1 Fair Trade Direct Impact on Producers .........................................................................7 3.2 Fair Trade Direct Impact on Producer Organisations .................................................12 3.3 Fair Trade Indirect Impact on Producers .....................................................................19 3.4 Fair Trade Indirect Impact: Coocafé Impact on the Cooperatives & Organisations 23 4. Conclusion....................................................................................................................24 5. Bibliography .................................................................................................................26

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Preface
“El comericio justo es mucho mas que comprar y vender café”. 1 This document is based on fieldwork conducted in 1999 in response to a rising interest in assessing the impacts of Fair Trade on its target groups. Fieldwork was conducted with Coocafé; the Fair Trade coffee consortium made up of nine primary-level coffee cooperatives in Costa Rica. This study followed a series of assessments commissioned by the Fair Trade Labelling Organisations (FLO) on the impact of fairly traded coffee in five countries: Tanzania, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico and Nicaragua (Schurmann and van Driel 1999). The present work is similar in focus to these studies, but was conducted independently from them.

Subsequent to an initial write-up of the study results, a feedback workshop was held in 2001 in Costa Rica with representatives from each of the co-operative members of Coocafé, to include their perspectives and reflections on the study’s results. This document presents the outcome of that two-year process of exploring...


Bibliography: CooCafé (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998a, 1999a) Actas de Asamblea
General de Delegados de CooCafé
.(1999b) Perfil Institucional. Alajuela: Cooafé.
COOPELDOS R.L. (1996) “En COOPELDOS R.L. Sembramos Progreso” in
COOPELDOS R.L
COOPE SARAPIQUI R.L. (1995, 1996, 1998) Actas de Asamblea. San Miguel de
Sarapiquí: SARAPIQUI.
EFTA (European Fair Trade Association) (1998) Fair Trade Yearbook: Towards
2000.Maastricht: EFTA.
EMA (Energia, Medio Ambiente y Desarollo) (1999) La Gestión Socio-Ambiental de
CooCafé R.L
FAO. (2000) Coffee, Green, Area Harv (Ha): Costa Rica. http://apps1.fao.org/servlet.
FEDECOOP (Federación de Co-operativas de Caficultores R.L) (1990) Indices
financieros de Co-operativas Afiliadas Periodo 89-90
FCF (Fundación Café Forestal) (1996) Annual Report. Cañas: FCF.
Castro, Ramón Gonzalez (1999) Informe de Programas 1999: FUNDACION HIJOS
DEL CAMPO
Haller, L.E. (1993) “Branded product marketing strategies in the cottage cheese market:
Co-operative versus proprietary firms”, in R.W
International Coffee Organisation (ICO) (1996) ICO Coffee Profile: Costa Rica. London
ICO.
International Co-Operative Alliance (1995) “Co-operatives and sustainable human
development: the global perspective”, Review of international co-operation 88, No.3,
Icafé (Instituto del Café de Costa Rica) (1999) Costa Rica Coffee Exports to All
Destination in Bags of 69 Kg during October 1st to September 30th
Mynt (1954) An interpretation of economic backwardness. Oxford Economist Paper June
1954 cited in Hunt, D
Neilsen, O. (1998) Travel Report: Costa Rica. Bonn: FLO.
Office of Rural Health (1997) Study. Los Angeles: Costa Rica.
Ronchi, Loraine. (1998)The Economics of Fair Trade. MPhil Thesis. Oxford: University of
Oxford.
Schuurman, F and F. van Driel. (1999) Evaluation of the Impact of the FLO Model: An
analysis of the significance for coffee farmers and coffee co-operatives
Wills, R.L. (1985) “Evaluating price enhancement by processing co-operatives”,
American Journal of Agricultural Economics 67: 183-192.
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