Living in times of solidarity: Fair Trade and the fractured life worlds of Guatemalan Coffee Farmers

Alberto Arce
Publication Date: 
This paper examines the social effects of fair trade transactions emerging from policies to expand the market around the globe.
Focusing on the case of coffee farmers in Guatemala, it examines tensions that are created in local organisational networks linked to production, processing and certification of fair trade organic coffee and how these tensions fracture and fragment the life worlds of these coffee farmers. While the fair trade market has provided positive opportunities for rural producers the research finds that network separation and market exclusion are also social expressions of involvement in fair trade. It is argued that fair trade policies need to reflect a more nuanced understanding of household and community consequences of production for fair trade market.