PhD Proposal Defense - Cynthia Balthazar

November 17, 2017

Natural Resources RM 130

Can Farmers’ Associations and Fair Trade Coffee Production Contribute to Sustainable Communities? A Case of Haiti

Dissertation Proposal Defense


Cynthia Balthazar

Friday, November 17, 2017

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Room: 130, Natural Resources Building

Where once, Haiti was France’s most profitable colony, it is now a state marked by environmental devastation and economic poverty, and consequently Haiti continues to rank as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Women face gender inequities and marginalization despite their visible roles in agriculture and local markets. This 3-paper research project will use a mixed methods, case study approach to investigate a “Fair Trade Plus” model of Farmers Associations in rural Haiti and its contributions to sustainable communities. Employing three levels of inquiry: the organizational level (JustHaiti), the site level (Farmers Associations) and the individual level (the growers), and using participant observation, in-depth interviews and survey instruments, this study will seek to understand the perceptions of sustainability at each level and determine principal activities and beliefs necessary for sustainable outcomes. Analysis of preliminary data shows that success of the association is dependent on resiliency in environment, economy and community as well as maintaining good relationships with partners at the various levels. This study will also consider how this model, Fair Trade Plus, incorporates women as participants in all levels of their processes.  

Committee Members:

  • Dr. Murari Suvedi, Chairperson
  • Dr. John Kerr
  • Dr. Shari Dann
  • Dr. Mywish Maredia.


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