Authors: Victor Velazquez Duran*, Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico, Rocio Rosales Ortega, Professor of the Department of Sociology, Metropolitan Autonomous University, Campus Iztapalapa
Topics: Economic Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: voluntary sustainable standards, legitimacy, organizational diversity, consensus-building, credibility
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
This research analyzes the dynamics of legitimation involved in implementing the Chackay Collective Trademark in the spiny lobster fishery located inside the Sian Ka'an and Banco Chinchorro biosphere reserves in Quintana Roo, Mexico. This initiative was promoted by an environmental NGO in coordination with the federal government’s Collective Biological Resources Program to create a voluntary certification scheme that would moderate lobster exploitation and promote the insertion of local fishermen into sustainable markets, both national and international. Unfortunately, the scope of the Chackay label has been limited because the design process failed to take into account the diversity of organizational forms that exist among the six cooperatives that make up the lobster value chain at the local level. A second factor was that local fishermen distrusted the NGO and questioned its legitimacy because its objectives and interests were never clarified. This has impeded collaboration and consensus-building in the process of constituting the legal instruments that would support the collective brand (e.g. advisory council, official norms). As a result, the Chackay brand has failed to gain the credibility required to effectively compete with the widely-accepted forms of authority in the local institutional environment (i.e., community institutions, state regulations). Consequently, the local lobster value chain maintains a conventional configuration. Research was based on 21 semi-structured interviews with the actors involved in the initiative: leaders of local cooperatives and fishermen affiliated with them, and members of government agencies , complemented by consultations of secondary sources concerning the history of this collective trademark.