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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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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 24 June 2022

Serve and Certify: Paradoxes of Service Work in Organic Coffee Certification

Serve and Certify: Paradoxes of Service Work in Organic Coffee Certification

(p.261) 11 Serve and Certify: Paradoxes of Service Work in Organic Coffee Certification
Confronting the Coffee Crisis

Tad Mutersbaugh

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the paradoxical effects of transnational organic coffee certification processes on service workers in Oaxaca, Mexico. It focuses on the service workers’ role of accommodating their local “agri-cultural” practices according to the transnational certification standards. Aspects of certified agricultures monitoring, including audit chain practices and management technologies, are discussed, as are advantages of certified agricultural production, including better livelihoods for farmers and skill development for the workforce. A case study from the coffee producers’ confederation of Oaxaca, Mexico presents paradoxes of product certification, including structural contradictions in the certification procedures and the impact of the procedure on the performances of service workers.

Keywords:   transnational certification, organic coffee certification, service workers, audit chain practices, management technologies, coffee producers’ confederation

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