Please introduce yourself and tell us something about your current work.
Currently I am in the final year of my PhD, researching the ethics and sustainability of alternative coffee trading initiatives. My research focuses on the much debated challenge between rural livelihood development and environmental conservation, with coffee serving as an example commodity.
I am exploring the complex relationships that stand between environmental quality, the quality of the product produced in a healthy ecosystem and the quality of the lives of people whose livelihood is directly dependent on these natural environments and agricultural commodities. I am working on developing projects which financially reward producers for engaging with production methods that ensure the long term sustainability of the farm (both yield and quality) and provide a safe haven for biodiversity, not only on the farm but also in the wider environmental matrix around the farm.
One of my goals this year is to deepen my understanding of the interests, goals, aims, motivations and possibilities of all major stakeholders in the coffee supply chain and the ways in which each of them aims to achieve improvement in their own area with a view to increase cooperation and effectiveness among all key stakeholders of the coffee community.
Although the task is far from being easy, it is my genuine intention and profound wish to directly contribute to the development of various trading schemes which enhance a dynamic equilibrium between human occupied (both production and living) spaces and the rest of the natural environment in which they are embedded in so that both the quality of the non-human ecosystems and the quality of life of the people living in close relationship to such ecosystems may be improved in a way that is meaningful to them all.