From Differentiated Coffee Markets Towards Alternative Trade and Knowledge Networks

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



MIT Press


This chapter presents a case study focusing on the Community Agroecology Network (CAN), an organization started by the United States and Mesoamerica’s activists, whose effort is to create an alternative trade and knowledge network. The basic aim behind CAN is to benefit conservation and social development efforts by linking producers, consumers, and producer organizations. CAN is a response to the problems arising out of the dominance of certification processes in Fair Trade and organic coffee networks, and the chapter discusses the organization’s main goals of intercommunity relationship development, direct coffee marketing, and ecological sustainability. It moots a comparison between alternative agro-food networks and CAN on the grounds of biodiversity conservation, empowerment, and enhanced livelihoods.

Chapter of

Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Fair Trade, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystems in Mexico and Central America


Christopher M Bacon
V. Ernesto Mendez
Stephen R Gliessman
David Goodman
and Jonathan A Fox