Sustainable Coffee: Neither markets nor labels nor shorter chains, but inclusive agreements. An Institutional Resource Regime analysis of Local Regulatory Arrangements in two Colombian regions.


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Sustainable Coffee: Neither markets nor labels nor shorter chains, but inclusive agreements. An Institutional Resource Regime analysis of Local Regulatory Arrangements in two Colombian regions.
Dussán López Pablo Andrés
Knoepfel Peter
Détails de l'institution
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de droit, des sciences criminelles et d'administration publique
Statut éditorial
Date de publication
Free markets encourage a highly-productive/low-cost coffee culture that denies farmers their expected income; communities their required healthy environment, indigenous population their vital cultural heritage, roasters their envisioned reputation; and so on. All of these deprivations are services demanded from the Resource Coffee, which interested actors try to obtain by activating institutions to (dis)incentivize farmers, traders, roasters, and consumers to behave differently than mandated by market forces.
Scholars have used the "lens of contract" to analyze the effectiveness of these institutions to provide a normatively defined combination of economic, social and environmental services, namely the three dimensions of sustainable development. However, the provision of such a combination diminishes the provision of other services. Expectedly, deprived actors activate other institutions to fight for their demanded services, annulling the effect of the previously activated ones. It challenges the sustainability of sustainable coffee.
We propose to use the "lens of negotiation" to analyze how actors reach local regulatory agreements (LRA) to shape the implementation of institutions to provide as many services as possible. Thus, we evaluated which type of LRAs optimize the provision of services depending on the presence/absence of three conditions: extent or the regulation of uses of the Resource; coherence or the governance mechanism; and closure or the market power. Then, we explain the emergence of LRAs by actors' games conceptualized as a sequence of three analytical dimensions: actors' coalition or the joint action agreed by actors to tackle a shared threat for the provision of their demanded services; mobilization of action resources or the observable engagement of actors in the political arena to activate institutions using a closed-list of ten action resources; and institutional creativity or actors' capability to shape the final output in order to incentivize the uses of the Resource needed to profile the demanded services. We selected Riosucio and Buesaco, two Colombian municipalities where coffee sparked the highest quantity of services for the highest quantity of actors in the most antagonistic way: whereas labels characterize the LRAs in Riosucio, shorter chains feature those in Buesaco.
Results suggest that an LRA for the sustainable management of coffee is a result of an actors' game featured by the proper dimension of the collective actor, so a negotiation among actors with different demands can be possible. Then, this interaction has to generate a power-balanced initial stage of negotiation so, the creativity for shaping the implementation of the institution can emerge, in order to produce a coherently regulated LRA. However, as there are services inherently incompatible, it is impossible to have one all-comprising LRA. So, further research should be done to study the substance of a set of minimum rules agreed between different LRAs.
Création de la notice
05/12/2019 12:20
Dernière modification de la notice
21/11/2022 8:15
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