Coffee cooperatives in Malawi: building resilience through innovation

Co-authors: Alexander Borda-Rodriguez

Abstract

This article focuses on the role played by innovation in the context of coffee co‐operatives. It shows how interconnected forms of innovation contribute to co‐operative resilience. Data was collected from the largest coffee co‐operative Union in Malawi and illustrates how coffee co‐operatives have innovated in order to cope with organizational and market constrains. We identify four areas of innovation: sustainable technologies, development of market niches, women’s inclusion and business diversification. The combination of these forms of innovation contributes to co‐operative resilience in different degrees, the article also analyzes how innovation is influenced and driven by co‐operative’s values and principles and by partnerships with national and international actors.

Available in English

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