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The commodity nature of green coffee isthe main cause of “the coffee paradox” (decreasingprices at production level and rising prices atconsumption level). So, a requirement to reach a lessunfair distribution of the added value between thesupply chain would be to “decommodify” the coffeemarket not only at the final consumer level, but also atthe production level. Certifications (like Fair Trade,Organic, Rainforest Alliance, Utz Kapeh, or Birdfriend)are often presented as a way to reach this result,but according to some authors these schemes seem to berather an extension of the standardization wave to newquality attributes (linked to social and/or environmentalcharacteristics of the production process). Geographicalindications (GIs) seems to be very different in thisrespect. GIs’ Codes of practices (which include thedelimitation of the production area and a description ofthe production norms and product quality) are normallyelaborated by the local actors themselves , who are ableto define the link to the terroir (physical and anthropiccharacteristics of the production area ). The aim of thisarticle is to question the ability of GIs to “decommodify”the coffee market also on the production side, andcontribute to a fair distribution of the benefits ofdecommodification. The paper is based on the analysisof the design process of a GI coffee in the Jarabacoaregion (Dominican Republic), which led to a veryselective Code of practices but not so specific withregard to the link with the territory. The articleevidences the chain of causality that brought to such aresult, and debates to what extent the case can beconsidered as context-specific. Given that it appearedthat most of the determinants are generic to the coffee world, the relevance of GIs as a tool to “decommodify” the coffee market must be qualified.

Keywords: Coffee ; Geographical Indications ; Collective action

Subject(s): Marketing

Issue Date: 2008

Publication Type: Conference Paper/ Presentation

PURL Identifier:

Total Pages: 15

Record appears in: European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE) > 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium

Autor: Galtier, F. ; Belletti, Giovanni ; Marescotti, Andrea


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