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Fairtrade And Sustainable Development A Social Cap Essay

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M. Sc. Technological and Socio-Economic Planning Roskilde University, Denmark April, 2007

Fairtrade and Sustainable Development: a Social Capital Perspective

Presented by Erika Torres and Karla Acosta Supervised by Erling Jelsøe and Bente Kjærgård

Many people have played a very important role for the accomplishment of this Master thesis, these acknowledgments aim to recognize their help and contributions to our effort. We appreciate the time, effort and constructive criticism of our supervisors Erling Jelsøe and Bente Kjærgård, and our opponents Shoshana Item and Gina Gil.

We are extremely grateful to all our interviewees, for the time taken out of their daily schedules, not just answering our questions but also for allowing us a taste of your life, whishes and fears. We would like to specially thank Professor Alma Amalia Gonzalez for all her valuable assistance and guidance in our field research. Mil Gracias Alma Amalia !!

Last, but certainly not least to our loved ones. Thank you for your strong support and patience along all this exhausting and stressful time.

Our heartfelt thanks to: Kristoffer Carsten and David

Many thanks, Karla and Erika, April 2007.


Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages globally, many of us enjoy the warm elixir that starts our daily activities, but almost none stop to consider the odyssey the beans have gone through, the impact on the environment or the conditions in which the producers live. The bean follows a complicated and extended chain of events that changes it, and adds value to it before it reaches our daily warm cup. Coffee is produced in southern latitudes and it is an important internationally traded commodity associated with the life of a large number of small-scale family farmers. Fairtrade is a global private regulatory scheme that pays a minimum fixed coffee price to the producers to promote sustainable development among smallscale coffee farmers. The...

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