Solidarity Interrupted: Coffee, Cooperatives, and Certification Conflicts in Mexico and Nicaragua

Bradley R. Wilson, Tad Mutersbaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Ethical commodity networks have been advanced as a means to promote cooperative development, engender more democratic forms of governance, promote environmental conservation, and redistribute a greater share of returns to farmers and workers. This essay draws upon long-term ethnographic research on the role of solidarity within two Mesoamerican coffee-producing cooperatives to understand the effects of certification regimes that undergird many ethical commodity networks today. The essay uses a labor-centric conception of solidarity to demonstrate that the pressures and demands created by certifications intended to generate more just outcomes can also strain existing solidarities that bind cooperatives together.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-367
Number of pages20
JournalRethinking Marxism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Association for Economic and Social Analysis.


  • Cooperatives
  • Ethical Commodity Networks
  • Fair Trade
  • Mesoamerica
  • Solidarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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