Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Katherine Fischer

Second Advisor

Sarah Rogers

Third Advisor

Dale Miller

Abstract

This purpose of this study is to illuminate the relationships of actors in the coffee market of Monteverde, Costa Rica. As a continuation of my previous research surveying coffee retailers and producers, this study targeted consumers as the final actor in the commodity chain. With the award of an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) Grant I returned to Monteverde in January to conduct participatory field research. This was done through a brief survey of ten questions intended to gain information about consumer knowledge on the sustainability of Monteverde’s coffee production. Responses of 50 participants were collected in two popular coffee shops, Café de Monteverde and ChocoCafé. In addition to my survey results, I utilized informal conversations with respondents and locals to analyze the market as a whole. I found that my results are not fully reflective of the complexities associated with factors which influence the decision-making of these actors. The research I conducted is unique to this particular coffee market but can stand as a basis for further research from multiple fields of study.