Publication Date

Spring 5-26-2017

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Rachel Slocum

Abstract

The coffee industry is a cornerstone of Nicaragua’s economy. Coffee production shapes communities and is a major factor in the development of the country. Coffee cooperatives in Nicaragua are often Fairtrade and Organic certified, yet their farmers continue to struggle to secure stable livelihoods. In this inquiry, I sought to understand whether becoming a Certified B Corp and interacting with the B Corp network could improve farmer livelihoods for production cooperatives. B Corp Certification seeks to redefine success in business with the unifying goal of creating a more inclusive economy. B Corps, for-profit businesses which have passed the rigorous B Impact Assessment, are certified by the nonprofit B Lab. B Corp certification may increase access to the market through the B Corp network and may thereby increase farmers’ incomes. B Corp Certification may also be a means to redistribute value in the commodity’s supply chain. Most importantly, the B Corp movement could promote sustainable change in the coffee value chain by joining like-minded companies in the global north and south. I argue that B Corp certification within the coffee industry could help to redistribute value in the supply chain by working within the B Corp network and will ultimately improve the livelihoods of farmers.

Disciplines

Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations

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