Next Article in Journal
A Multifactorial Approach to Value Supporting Ecosystem Services in Spanish Forests and Its Implications in a Warming World
Next Article in Special Issue
Evolution of Farming Systems in the Mediterranean High Mountain: The Case of the Alpujarra Alta (Spain)
Previous Article in Journal
Characteristics of Transformational Adaptation in Climate-Land-Society Interactions
Previous Article in Special Issue
Socioecological Transition in Land and Labour Exploitation in Mallorca: From Slavery to a Low-Wage Workforce, 1229–1576
Article Menu
Issue 2 (January-2) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 357;

Cooperation, Fair Trade, and the Development of Organic Coffee Growing in Chiapas (1980–2015)

Department of Economic History, Institutions, Policy and World Economy, University of Barcelona, Av. Diagonal, 690, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
PDF [1760 KB, uploaded 22 January 2019]


In present day Mexico, Chiapas is the state that produces the greatest amount of coffee, with both the highest number of producers and the largest cultivated area. A significant part of this production is organic coffee. Organic coffee growing emerged as an important alternative for small producers who previously devoted themselves to the production and commercialization of conventional coffee but found it increasingly difficult to make a living. The expansion of the cultivation of organic coffee was closely related to the processes of peasant mobilization that started in the 1970s when the agricultural model of the Green Revolution went into crisis. This article analyzes the expansion of organic coffee growing in Chiapas and its connection with the process of the collective organization of small coffee producers in cooperatives. In these cooperatives, an alternative model of production was established based on the peasants’ traditional knowledge. We argue that the development of organic coffee growing was strongly linked to the long tradition of community life, communal management of land and natural resources, and collective action. We also underline the resilience of the peasants’ traditional farming systems and their contribution to a more sustainable and environmentally respectful agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic coffee growing, collective action, cooperatives, Chiapas, Mexico organic coffee growing, collective action, cooperatives, Chiapas, Mexico

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Folch, A.; Planas, J. Cooperation, Fair Trade, and the Development of Organic Coffee Growing in Chiapas (1980–2015). Sustainability 2019, 11, 357.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top