The political ecology of shaded coffee plantations: conservation narratives and the everyday-lived-experience of farmworkers

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1284-1303
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Conservation narratives
  • farmworkers
  • plantation labor
  • political ecology of agriculture
  • shade-grown organic coffee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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