Ethical Responsibility to Distant Others through the Coffee Industry
How we live our lives here in New Zealand affects others who are distant from us. We live in a world with many networks across space, which connect people with radically different lifestyles. These connections create an avenue to respond to the poverty of these ‘distant others’. One such network of connections is the coffee industry. Ethical consumption and social entrepreneurship within the coffee industry are a means to address development issues, and ultimately poverty. This research will look into coffee social enterprises, and how they can be included in a post-development theoretical framework. In particular, it will discuss the motivations of social entrepreneurs involved in the coffee companies interviewed. Post-development provides a theoretical framework for this research of coffee social enterprises. It provides a critique to mainstream development, and has questioned how development is done, as well as its very validity. In doing so, it has encouraged new ways of ‘doing development’. One example of this is Sally Matthews’ three responses the wealthy can have to poverty: first, re-thinking of the development discourse in light of post-development; secondly, supporting popular initiatives; and thirdly, solidarity with distant others here at home. This is an appreciative inquiry into different coffee companies, using qualitative ethnographic methods. Seven in-depth interviews have been conducted with managers, past owners or head roasters, as well as one with an expert on social enterprise.