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Can Fair Trade Be the Solution for Haitian Coffee Industry?
Haitian coffee industry has faced a decline in production and exports for more than three decades. Given the importance of coffee in the Haiti's history, this fact makes the need to analyze the problems facing the coffee industry obvious and relevant. These challenges have affected not only the environmental sustainability, but also the social life of the Haitian population dependent on the coffee culture. The objectives of this study include investigating the major factors causing for the decline of the Haitian coffee industry. In addition, investigate whether the Fair Trade (FT) system can be one of the potential solutions for Haitian coffee industry. This study was conducted through face-to-face interviews from July to August 2017. The data were collected using the 'mixed method design,' which combines qualitative and quantitative. First, the qualitative samples were collected in Beaumont, Pestel, Roseaux, Baptiste, Thiotte, Rendelle, and Baradère with using the In-Depth interview method. The quantitative samples were collected in Les Cayes and Port-au-Prince. In addition, an online link leading the questionnaire was sent to respondents. A total of 51 coffee producers, 15 coffee retailers, 2 coffee traders and 296 coffee consumers were interviewed. The following hypothesis have been tested in this study: (1) Haitian farmers do want to join the FT system. (2) Coffee consumers in Haiti are willing to support local coffee growers by agreeing to pay higher prices. The 'Content Analysis' was utilized to analyze the qualitative data, while one simple and independent t test were used to test hypotheses and comparison of means. In addition, the binary logistic regression model was used to evaluate the willingness to pay for Haitian consumers.
The qualitative results showed that the decreased production of Haitian coffee is related to the fact that farmers are facing a serious issue in sustainable farming. In terms of key words mentioned during the interview records, about 90% of respondents mentioned the declining production issue that is highly linking to farmers' low income, pest diseases, quality control, lack access of credit to purchase their inputs, and the intense deforestation. Furthermore, the majority of coffee gardens are aged which decreases their yields, so the decline of Haitian coffee industry is also characterized by the lack of access to the market and suitable skills to maintain coffee gardens sustainably. Therefore, most interviewed farmers think that the FT system can be a solution to sustain the Haitian coffee industry. According to the interviewed coffee retailers, about 57% of coffee shoppers think that the decreased production of Haitian coffee is linking to the lack of skills to develop new varieties. However, about 75% of coffee retailers mentioned that the lack of accessibility to the market leads to the lack of the new integrated marketing strategy and the local promotion of Haitian coffee although the interviewed coffee retailers do not really see the solution in FT system. However, they adhere to the idea of selling their coffee under the FT label in order to participate in the sustainable maintenance of the Haitian coffee industry. The results from coffee traders have shown that the decline of the Haitian coffee industry is characterized by the lack of infrastructure. They mentioned that it links to the inefficient investment policy in coffee producing areas, the poor condition of transport in rural areas and the lack of training for the preparation of good quality coffee beans. The traders think that the Haitian coffee industry needs a better operating system, so the quality of coffee bean can be enhanced. However, they do not think the FT system can be a potential solution for the Haitian coffee industry. In addition to coffee consumers in Haiti, the results showed that 91% of Haitian consumers are willing to buy Haitian FT coffee. However, only 50% of the respondent were willing to pay additional price premium for Haitian FT coffee. The overall results of coffee farmers, coffee shoppers, and most consumers have shown that the FT system could be a potential solution for Haitian coffee with proper marketing strategy. Therefore, the implementation of the FT system in Haiti would require more education on specific sectors to be successful.
|Appears in Collections:||國際農學碩士學位學程|
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