Revista Digital Universitaria
Revista Digital Universitaria ISSN: 1607 - 6079 | Publicación mensual | 1 de septiembre de 2014 vol.15, No.09


The indigenous farmer organization against free trade: the case of small coffee producers in Mexico

Silvia Nuria Jurado Celis

The organizational alternatives in Mexico have a very complex history, they attend several problems and demands, which allow us to see the social problems we have and face. Many times their demands go together and give them a particular performance, they have commonalities of interests, and some of them are transversal to the group. That happens for example when farmer and indigenous demands are spliced. We know both sectors have particular ways to work and particular demands. In most of the cases they are in the same place. This happens with small coffee producers in México, who live between their daily production and local consumption and the relationship with international market where the coffee is sold.
Most of the coffee is cultivated in the south states en México, especially in Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas, where the most of indigenous culture of our country are located. That's why the small coffee producer's practices are mixed most of the times with indigenous problems. In this sense the coffee supply chain is very complex because of the several processes are necessary to be enjoyed, the first part is worked by farmer family, subsequently the industrial step is coming an finally the trade aspect, this can be property of big companies or divided between farmer families and medium traders, but the value added is in the industrial and trade part. This, in addition to its high value in the places where it can´t be produced becomes it an easy product to the speculation, which becomes a big prices instability, especially for the farmers.
Thereby, Mexican small producers should face in one way their problems because of indigenous and farmer condition and, at the same time, all their problems as coffee producers. And that's the context where we can watch they have made a lot of strategies where Fair Trade is one of the more innovative starting with social organization.

Keywords: farmers, indigenous, coffee, fair trade.