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Combining interdisciplinary research with case-study analysis at scales ranging from the local to the global, "Confronting the Coffee Crisis" reveals the promise and the perils of efforts to create a more sustainable coffee industry. Our morning cups of coffee connect us to a global industry and an export crisis in the tropics that is destroying livelihoods, undermining the cohesion of families and communities, and threatening ecosystems. "Confronting the Coffee Crisis" explores small-scale farming, the political economy of the global coffee industry, and initiatives that claim to promote more sustainable rural development in coffee-producing communities. Contributors review the historical, political, economic, and agroecological processes within today's coffee industry and analyze the severely depressed export market that faces small-scale growers in Mexico and Central America.
The book presents a series of interdisciplinary, empirically rich case studies showing how small-scale farmers manage ecosystems and organize collectively as they seek useful collaborations with international NGOs and coffee companies to create opportunities for themselves in the coffee market. The findings demonstrate the interconnections among farmer livelihoods, biodiversity, conservation, and changing coffee markets. Additional chapters examine alternative trade practices, certification, and eco-labeling, discussing the politics and market growth of organic, shade-grown, and Fair Trade coffees. Combining interdisciplinary research with case-study analysis at scales ranging from the local to the global, "Confronting the Coffee Crisis" reveals the promise and the perils of efforts to create a more sustainable coffee industry.
Christopher M. Bacon is a researcher associated with the Environmental Studies and Sociology Departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz. V. Ernesto Mendez is Assistant Professor in the Environmental Program and Department of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont. Stephen R. Gliessman is Alfred Heller Professor of Agroecology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where David Goodman is Professor of Environmental Studies and Jonathan A. Fox is Professor in the Latin American and Latino Studies Department.
This book is provocative and innovative in its comprehensive approach to researching and covering the coffee system from field to cup. - Tom Hanlon-Wilde, Co-owner, Equal Exchange"