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Globalising justice within coffee supply chains? Fair Trade, Starbucks and the transformation of supply chain governance.

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Presentation on theme: "Globalising justice within coffee supply chains? Fair Trade, Starbucks and the transformation of supply chain governance."— Presentation transcript:

1 Globalising justice within coffee supply chains? Fair Trade, Starbucks and the transformation of supply chain governance

2 Introduction Evaluation of two initiatives that attempt to embed principles of social justice and responsibility into the institutional structures of economic governance in the coffee industry Empowerment as an evaluative framework First, an analysis of the structural origins of power and disempowerment in the industry Then, an evaluation of the impact and the potential of each of the two initiatives

3 Power and Disempowerment in the Global Coffee Industry Dimensions of disempowerment among small producers and workers Key actors and institutional structures, and their role in shaping patterns of disempowerment –Differentiated commodity chains: conventional and specialty –Multiple sites of territorial embedding –Multi-level institutions of state-based governance (Neo-liberal) globalisation, and the strategic redefinition of institutional capabilities: implications for structures and dynamics of disempowerment

4 Fair Trade: emergence of an alternative institutional model Emergence as a critique of and alternative to existing institutional system The institutional structure of fair trade: an endogenised system of economic governance The transformation of economic relations: production, exchange and consumption The transformation of social and political relations: strengthened forms of transnational identification, solidarity and responsibility

5 Evaluating the impact of fair trade Incomes and social infrastructure Institution building and empowerment Strengthening and thickening of institutional architectures around the fair trade system provides a base to support broader forms of social exchange and political mobilisation Challenges of scaling up or mainstreaming –Scaling up consumption –Scaling up production The challenge of redistributing power within cross-cutting institutional sites

6 Starbucks Café Practices Emergence of the initiative in response to multiple objectives and pressures: social responsibility integrated within a broader conception of sustainable coffee sourcing Key actors and institutional mechanisms

7 Evaluating the impact of the Café Practices program Learning and capacity building at sites of production Impact on working conditions, social infrastructure and environmental practices Promoting discourses of responsibility and sustainability among wider actors and institutional sites Lack of commitment to accountability or empowerment

8 Interactions between initiatives: multi-layered structures and strategic dilemmas Complementary interactions –Reinforcement of transformative discourse (at sites of production and consumption) –Reconfiguring incentives and developing institutional capacity –Interactions with wider initiatives and campaigns Tensions and strategic dilemmas –Corporate purchasing and marketing of fair trade products –Discursive transformation versus competitive branding: dilemmas surrounding appropriate forms of public communication Implications for mainstreaming: competing pathways to wider institutional transformation

9 Conclusions: Towards the transformation of supply chain governance Embedding principles of social justice within multi-level institutions governing production and trade in the coffee industry –Challenging the normative definition of (global) social contracts –Developing institutional innovations that seek to embed these principles within concrete institutional forms Structural redistribution of social power within a transformed institutional system Transformative pathways and potentials Limitations and challenges


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