Quan Le

Fair Trade and Organic Coffee: The Case of Nicaraguan Smallholder Cooperatives and Seattle University

Quan Le

Associate Professor
Albers School of Business and Economics 




Coffee is the second most valuable traded commodity after petroleum. There are twenty-five million families depend on coffee production worldwide. Many coffee farmers receive prices lower than the cost of production. Coffee farmers need help with respect to price stabilization, social policy to protect their livelihoods, and sustainable environmental conditions to protect their farm. The Seattle University’s Nicaraguan fair trade coffee project provides business education for sustainable development by practicing solidarity with the farmers and fostering the relationship between Seattle University and University of Central America-Managua. This project gives the entire SU community an opportunity to participate in an ongoing relationship between SU, UCA and CECOSEMAC cooperatives under the spirit of cooperation, environmental justice and sustainability.  


The project has two objectives:

(i) To promote Café Ambiental brand on campus and in the community through marketing and educational events.

(ii) To collaborate with CECOSEMAC cooperatives on capacity building to help farmers reach the specialty coffee market in Seattle area.

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