Chemically Imbalanced’s Cup to seed

Does specialty coffee help or hurt farmers?

That is in my opinion quite good reading introducing a wide range of issues regarding the role of the specialty sector in the coffee industry. I think I found this information through James Hoffman’s blog a few months ago, and it surprised me to find ongoing analyzes (one use to think that sometimes has original ideas) about the role of this sector in relation to small farmers, the opinion of some producers and the controversy with specialty’s coffee sector principles on trade and social sustainability

I think that the question invites to re-think the role of specialty coffee as an alternative way to help farmers out from the vulnerability condition (to name a World Banks type of concept) that the commodification of the coffee implies in the capitalistic economy. Direct Trade could historically mean the continuation of an hegemonic model of production and consumption of coffee depending on how it systematically relates with the whole coffee trade market. Or it could be seed of new social relationships. Although this has not been study, the intention seems to be present, and the information available as different actors involve into the debate seems also to be significant.

The issue represent a challenge to the industry and may arise different kind of reactions probably influenced by economic and professional interests or/ and by the strong believe and good intentions off passionate people involved in the specialty sector. For example, a good example of the last can be seen in a  discussion at Coffeed



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