Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Mahadev Bhat

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

David Bray

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Gail Hollander

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


coffee, fair trade, organic, sustainable, coca, bolivia, economic, commodity chain

Date of Defense



The purpose of this research is to study the commercialization of Fairtrade and Organic coffee in the Bolivia. Fairtrade and Organic coffee are alternative trade systems designed to promote the equitable and environmentally sustainable production of coffee. However, these alternative trading systems often fail to meet these goals. The producers and environment these systems are intended to protect remain marginalized. These failures are due to a number of local institutions. In order to better understand these institutions, this research conducted interviews of various stakeholders including producers, cooperative leaders, organic/Fair Trade certifiers, government agencies and private buyers. All these stakeholders influence the success of the alternative trade systems. By better understanding how these stakeholders impact the commercialization of coffee in Bolivia; new policies can be develop to improve the outcomes of alternative trade, to benefit both producers and the environment. This is especially critical in Bolivia because of the environmentally sensitive area in which coffee is grown, the potentially damaging impact of coca on the region and, the devastating economic impact to farmers.





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