Beyond Fair Trade: How One Small Coffee Company Helped Transform a Hillside Village in Thailand

Author:
Mark Pendergrast
Publisher:
Greystone Books
Category:
General

This book appeared in Advance Copy, a column in which NASW book editor Lynne Lamberg asks NASW authors to tell how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. She also asks what they wish they had known before they began working on their book, what they might do differently the next time, and what tips they can offer aspiring authors. She then edits the A part of that Q&A to produce the author reports you see here. Publication of NASW members’ reports in Advance Copy does not indicate NASW’s endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments, and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions. To join the discussion or submit your book, visit Advance Copy.

"What does compassionate capitalism look like? Mark Pendergrast shows us in this enlightening story of tribal life, opium, missionaries, market trends, a Thai antiques dealer, a mining entrepreneur and coffee." Abigail Carroll, author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal.

The Akha hill tribe of Thailand has a long, tumultuous history. Politics, economics, violence, prejudice, and deforestation consistently worked against the Akha's desire to move away from their dependency on opium production and create a stable future for their children. That all changed in 2006 when prominent businessman John Darch met entrepreneur Wicha Promyong. Their meeting resulted in the establishment of an equal partnership business venture that goes beyond Fair Trade: the Doi Chaang Coffee Company. Beyond Fair Trade tells the story of the growth of this unique partnership, its successes and challenges, and the people behind it.