Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 257-270

First online:

Empowering Coffee Traders? The Coffee Value Chain from Nicaraguan Fair Trade Farmers to Finnish Consumers

  • Joni ValkilaAffiliated withDevelopment Studies, Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki Email author 
  • , Pertti HaaparantaAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Aalto University School of Economics
  • , Niina NiemiAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Aalto University School of Economics

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This article analyzes the distribution of benefits from Fair Trade between producing and consuming countries. Fair Trade and conventional coffee production and trade were examined in Nicaragua in 2005–2006 and 2008. Consumption of the respective coffees was assessed in Finland in 2006–2009. The results indicate that consumers paid considerably more for Fair Trade-certified coffee than for the other alternatives available. Although Fair Trade provided price premiums to producer organizations, a larger share of the retail prices remained in the consuming country relative to conventional coffee trade. Paradoxically, along with the certified farmers and cooperatives, Fair Trade empowers roasters and retailers.


coffee consumers cooperatives Fair Trade farmers Finland labor Nicaragua retail prices value chain