تجارت عادلانه تولید آلی قهوه در نیکاراگوئه - توسعه پایدار و یا یک تله فقر؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29351||2009||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7182 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 68, Issue 12, 15 October 2009, Pages 3018–3025
This article assesses the impact of Fair Trade organic coffee production on the well-being of small-scale farmers in Nicaragua. Studying the results of organic management is crucial for evaluating the advantages of Fair Trade because approximately half of all Fair Trade coffee is also organically certified. A wide range of farmers, representatives of cooperatives and export companies in Nicaragua were interviewed during seven months of field work between 2005 and 2008. Fair Trade organic production raises farmer income when low-intensity organic farming is an alternative to low-intensity conventional farming. However, low-intensity farming produces very little coffee in the case of the most marginalized farmers, keeping these farmers in poverty. With higher intensities of management, the economic advantages of Fair Trade organic production largely depend on prices in the mainstream market.
Many coffee farmers started a transition to organic production during the recent coffee price slump in the international markets in 2000–2004, encouraged by the growth of certified coffee markets, low prices in mainstream markets and assistance from development projects. The impact of organic production on farmer welfare is an important issue since organic coffee production has been suggested to lower yields and farmer income compared with what can be achieved using conventional methods (van der Vossen, 2005). Globally, approximately half of Fair Trade coffee is also organically certified and vice versa.1 Despite this substantial overlapping of the two certification schemes, most studies on Fair Trade do not analyze the economic viability of organic coffee production2 or the advantages conferred by Fair Trade compared with organic certification alone. Although studies have stated that farmers receive price premiums for Fair Trade organic coffee (Bacon, 2005 and Daviron and Ponte, 2005), the impact of certification on farmer welfare is a complex issue because production intensities, yields, production costs and coffee prices vary widely both in conventional and organic production. The aim of this study was to evaluate the viability and advantages of Fair Trade organic coffee production and trade in the case of the Nicaraguan small-scale farmers. The following issues were studied: 1) yields in organic and conventional production, 2) costs of production, comparing especially the costs of organic and inorganic fertilization, 3) price premiums received by cooperatives and farmers for Fair Trade organic coffee, and 4) farmer income from Fair Trade organic and conventional coffee production. Organic coffee production has multiple potential environmental benefits. Organic standards require coffee farms to have a structurally and floristically diverse shade cover (e.g. OCIA, Organic Crop Improvement Association International, Inc., 2005). Organic coffee farms thus provide environmental services that resemble those provided by forests (Bacon et al., 2008a: 338–339). As coffee farms are located in some of the biologically most diverse and most threatened environments in the world, their role as refuges for wildlife is important (Moguel and Toledo, 1999). Coffee fields store carbon from the atmosphere and protect watersheds by slowing down run-off. Organic coffee production also replaces inorganic fertilizers with organic fertilizers as well as pesticides and fungicides with less harmful alternatives and prohibits genetically modified organisms (OCIA (Organic Crop Improvement Association International, Inc.), 2005 and IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, 200). More shade trees and low-intensity farming methods, however, also imply lower yields (Perfecto et al., 2005), which is problematic from the point of view of rural poverty. On a global scale, population and economic growth associated with changing eating habits, limited arable land and biofuel production create pressures to agricultural intensification. A central question for sustainable agriculture is how production can be intensified without causing serious damage to the environment (Tinker, 1997 and Pretty et al., 2003). Low-intensity small-scale coffee production needs to be analyzed against the backdrop of recent changes in coffee production and trade. There has been a downward trend in coffee prices in recent decades. The reasons for decreasing prices include the collapse of the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) and its production quotas, increased productivity through high-yield coffee varieties, “technification” (higher intensity farming) and some mechanization of production, as well as improved roasting techniques, which have enabled roasters to use larger shares of cheaper to produce Robusta coffee in their blends (Ponte, 2002 and Gilbert, 2006). Fair Trade originated in response to declining and volatile coffee prices. It has grown into a certification system covering a wide range of products. In the case of coffee, Fair Trade aims to support democratically organized cooperatives of small-scale farmers in developing countries through payment of minimum prices, premiums for social development, improved labour rights and long-term trading relationships (Muradian and Pelupessy, 2005 and Raynolds et al., 2007). Fair Trade does not require organic production, but encourages farmers “to work towards organic practices where socially and economically practical” (FLO, Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, 2007a: 6). To be able to sell their coffee as Fair Trade certified, there is a pressure on producer organizations to produce organically. When Fair Trade coffee is not organically certified, there is a structural mismatch of supply and demand. As a result, certified producer organizations typically sell only a small percentage of their non-organic coffee to Fair Trade markets (Muradian and Pelupessy, 2005 and Bacon et al., 2008a: 344; Valkila and Nygren, 2009). The supply and demand situation is completely different for Fair Trade organic markets. Demand for organic products is high and supply is limited because gaining organic certification is demanding and organic producers forego potential higher yields that can be achieved using inorganic fertilizers. This article analyzes the possibilities of Fair Trade organic production and trade to improve the well-being of small-scale coffee farmers and their labourers while protecting the environment through organic production in the challenging global context of decreasing commodity prices. The paper is structured as follows: Section 2 presents methods utilized in this study. Section 3 analyzes reasons for variations in intensities of coffee production in Nicaragua and responses of Fair Trade and organic movements to low-intensity production. Section 4 analyzes costs of organic and inorganic fertilization. Section 5 compares Fair Trade organic coffee prices with prices in conventional markets. Section 6 compares profitability of low- and medium-intensity Fair Trade organic and conventional coffee production in Nicaragua. Section 7 concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Fair Trade organic coffee production can increase farmer income in the case of low-intensity coffee production. However, the increase in income is very modest, because so little coffee is produced by marginalized farmers. These farmers remain in poverty despite being connected to Fair Trade organic markets (Bacon et al., 2008b). In the case of more intensive Fair Trade organic coffee production the advantages conferred by price premiums are not straightforward, because yields tend to be lower compared with yields that can be achieved using conventional methods of comparable intensity. In this case, the advantages of Fair Trade organic production depend on prices in the mainstream markets: when prices for conventional coffee have been extremely low, Fair Trade organic prices have been attractive to farmers. As the future prices of coffee are unknown, it is impossible to say how relevant the price guarantee provided by Fair Trade will be. The costs of fertilization are not necessarily more expensive when organic methods are used. Large quantities of organic materials are available, although these are not conveniently located for all farmers. Organic production substitutes inorganic fertilizers with manual labour. This creates employment in rural areas that have limited job opportunities outside agriculture (Martínez-Torres, 2008). However, this labour comprises back-breaking shovelling and carrying of heavy sacks of organic materials with no mechanical assistance. Working conditions in Fair Trade organic coffee production in Nicaragua are not superior to the working conditions in rural Nicaragua in general (Valkila and Nygren, 2009). Fair Trade organic farmers and their hired labour are not very well compensated for producing organic coffee. The ecosystem services provided by organic coffee production would merit a payment, as price premiums by certified coffee markets alone do not provide clear advantages to farmers.