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Confronting the Coffee CrisisFair Trade, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystems in Mexico and Central America$
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Christopher M Bacon, V. Ernesto Mendez, Stephen R Gliessman, David Goodman, and Jonathan A Fox

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026338

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026338.001.0001

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The International Coffee Crisis: A Review of the Issues

The International Coffee Crisis: A Review of the Issues

(p.3) 1 The International Coffee Crisis: A Review of the Issues
Confronting the Coffee Crisis

David Goodman

The MIT Press

This chapter details the decrease in coffee export earnings and coffee producer cooperatives’ efforts to gain access to international networks through mobilization for organic coffee and Fair Trade. The root causes of the global coffee crisis are analyzed along with the breakdown of the International Coffee Agreement regime in 1989, which is considered to be the origin of the crisis. The chapter discusses the use of product differentiation strategies by café chains to decommoditize their coffee brand and charge premium prices, leading to retail coffee price stability. Conditions for attaining sustainable coffee agro-ecosystems are explored, along with the sustainability of production technologies. Contradictions and paradoxes in the organic coffee certification process are discussed, along with global regulations of organic and social certification standards for coffee production.

Keywords:   export earnings, coffee producer cooperatives, organic coffee, Fair Trade, International Coffee Agreement, product differentiation, social certification, organic certification, decommoditization

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