Shade-grown coffee conserves biodiversity and often improves peasant livelihoods in Latin America. However, farmworkers have been overwhelmingly overlooked, despite being a vulnerable and marginalized actor in the coffee production chain, facing food and labor inequalities. This ethnographic research explores how farmworkers perceive biodiversity conservation in labor-intensive organic coffee systems. I examine the tensions that arise when conservation narratives meet the everyday-lived-experience of farmworkers, emphasizing material and symbolic effects on farmworkers' lives. Through questioning shade-grown organic coffee as a just imaginary, I expose contradictions and trade-offs of biodiversity conservation in labor-intensive systems, relevant as we transition to more sustainable food systems.
- Conservation narratives
- plantation labor
- political ecology of agriculture
- shade-grown organic coffee
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)