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Fairtrade coffee: A study to assess the impact of Fairtrade for coffee smallholders and producer organisations in Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and Tanzania
  • V. Nelson
  • J. Haggar
  • A. Martin
  • J. Donovan
  • E. Borasino
  • W. Hasyim
  • N. Mhando
  • M. Senga, University of Dar es salaam
  • J. Mgumia
  • E. E. Quintanar Guadarrama
  • Z. Kendar
  • J. Valdez
  • D. Morales
Coffee is the largest Fairtrade product. At the end of 2014, there were more than 812,500 coffee farmers in 445 Fairtrade certified producer organizations, in 30 countries around the world. In 2014 they sold 150,800 MT of their coffee under Fairtrade conditions. Fairtrade invests in ongoing monitoring and regular external evaluation, with a particular focus on our major products. We want to understand more about how our model is delivering impacts among certified coffee farmers, their communities and their organizations, and where we can improve. 
This evaluation research focused on small-scale coffee farmer organizations in four countries: Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and Tanzania. The purpose of the study was to understand how and in what ways Fairtrade coffee farmers and their farmer organizations benefit from Fairtrade, focusing on key indicators including price, income, production, access to training, and various aspects of producer organization strength. 
The countries studied, and the focal producer organizations were independently selected by the research team with the aim of allowing the research to explore diverse producer situations. There was wide variation in the size of coffee plots, the structure, size and capacities of the farmer organizations, and different historical and current approaches to the production and trade of coffee. 
Research questions were developed based on the key themes in the Fairtrade Theory of Change, and these were used to design a mixed methods approach. This included a quantitative survey and a series of focus group discussions with coffee farmers, as well as interviews and discussions with producer organization managers and other key informants. The research was undertaken with eight Fairtrade certified producer organizations (two in each of the focus countries) in 2014. In each country, a neighbouring, non-certified producer organization or a group of non-certified farmers was selected as a comparison group. The researchers surveyed 800 farmers and held 23 focus groups with both men and women. 
  • Fairtrade coffee,
  • producer organisations,
  • theory of change,
  • smallholders
Publication Date
Spring September, 2016
Citation Information
Nelson, V., J. Haggar, A. Martin, J. Donovan, E. Borasino, W. Hasyim, N. Mhando, M. Senga, J. Mgumia, E. Quintanar Guadarrama, Z. Kendar, J. Valdez, D. Morales. (2016) ‘Fairtrade coffee: A study to assess the impact of Fairtrade for coffee smallholders and producer organisations in Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and Tanzania. Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham, UK.
Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-NC International License.