Beyond Fair Trade illustrates a new model of capitalism, a win-win model that shares profits across the globe. It offers fascinating historical background about the Akha hill tribe of Northern Thailand as well as insight into their struggle for survival- from opium crops to premium quality coffee.
The Book, which was released in late 2015, introduces co-founders John Darch and Wicha promyong and includes a case history in starting a specialty coffee business from scratch in the highly competitive Canadian market. It also highlights how the remote Thai village of Doi Chang has become world-famous for its high-quality coffee. Ultimately, Beyond Fair Trade raises as many questions as answers. It is an on-going saga.
About the Author
In order of the first editions, Mark’s nonfiction books are For God, Country and Coca-Cola (in its 3rd edition); Victims of Memory (in its second edition); Uncommon Grounds (the history of coffee, in its second edition); Mirror Mirror; Inside the Outbreaks; Japan’s Tipping Point; Beyond Fair Trade. He has also written two children’s books, Jack and the Bean Soup and Silly Sadie. Both Uncommon Grounds, Mark’s history of coffee, and For God, Country and Coca-Cola have been published in many languages around the world, including Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. Mark has been interviewed on radio programs around the world hundreds of times, talking about previous books, and has appeared on television many times as well. He has also appeared in several documentary films and has spoken before trade and business groups on four continents.
Words of Praise
“I celebrate the story of Doi Chaang in Thailand as a force for change. I believe that through trade justice, communities like Doi Chaang and world markets can meet and thrive together.” — Tom Smith, Executive Director of Fairtrade Canada
“There a number of players in the deeper parts of the coffee world who recognize that Fair Trade, although a wonderful beginning, is just that, a beginning. Doi Chaang is the refined model to which all coffee folk in a better world aspire—Doi Chaang is where the bar is presently set—the absolute gold standard for good.” — Todd Carmichael, Coffee Sourcer and Founder of La Colombe.
“Mark Pendergrast has written an extraordinary book about how a poverty-stricken hill tribe in a remote village in Thailand became internationally famous for its coffee, and how a Canadian businessman and Thai entrepreneur helped make that happen.” — Pisan Manawapat, Ambassador of Thailand to Canada (2013-2015)
“Pendergrast narrates the inclusion of an out-of-the-way place into a global trade for boutique, ethically sourced coffee. The story of the Doi Chaang Coffee Company helps conscientious coffee drinkers envision more equitable ownership models that go beyond fair trade.” — Sarah Besky, Author of The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India (2014, University of California Press); Winner of the 2014 Society for Economic Anthropology Book Prize
“A rich and resonantly detailed account of an unlikely partnership that enabled the hard-working tribespeople of a remote coffee-growing village in Thailand to emerge from poverty and obscurity to success in the refined new world of fine coffee.” — Kenneth Davids, Coffee Review
“Beyond Fair Trade does an admirable job of tracing the evolution of the Doi Chaang Coffee Company and showing how corporate social responsibility can be part of a successful business strategy. I am proud to see the publication of the story of this Canadian company’s strong commitment to its local community, to Canadian values of decency, fairness and opportunity, to genuine fair trade—and, of course, to great coffee.” — Philip Calvert, Canadian Ambassador to Thailand
“Coffee, culture, and what is really happening on the ground—Beyond Fair Trade delivers them all in a complex tale of international partnership surrounding one of the world’s richest commodities.” — Majka Burhardt, Author of Coffee Story: Ethiopia and Vertical Ethiopia
“Beyond Fair Trade is the extraordinary story of how the traditionally illiterate hill tribes in a small mountain village in Thailand overcame warlords, opium production, deforestation and poverty — all through coffee and help from Canadian entrepreneur John Darch and Thai visionary Wicha Promyong.” — Julie Angus, author of Olive Odyssey
“With scholarly and sensitive detail, Mark Pendergrast tells the story of the once despised Akha hill tribes of northern Thailand, tracing the culturally traumatic but ultimately successful transformation of a village of Akha farmers from raising opium poppies to harvesting a more stimulating crop: organic arabica coffee beans.” — William E. Mitchell, Cultural Anthropologist and Author, The Bamboo Fire: Fieldwork with the New Guinea Wape
“Well-researched and well-written, Mark Pendergrast’s Beyond Fair Trade is an inspirational tale of how culinary globalization can work for the benefit of both low- and high-income communities. Let’s hope the win-win model Pendergrast describes can spread to other communities around the world.” — Andrew F. Smith, editor-in-chief, Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America
“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 Canadian mining entrepreneur-and coffee.” — Abigail Carroll, author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal
“Mark Pendergrast relates the story of coffee in Thailand against a backdrop of the confluence of economics, anthropology, agriculture and the extraordinary capacity of humans to influence their own worlds. For anyone who wonders how we will cope with a rapidly changing physical, economic and political environment, there are abundant lessons to be found here.” — Ric Rhinehart, Executive Director SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America)