Many small growers across the global south experience unfair trading manifestations and practices, are trapped into selling their product at drastically low prices, and are stuck below or near the poverty line because of exploitative market intermediaries. To cope, small growers have united under the cooperative organisation model where small growers pool together their talent and skills to execute the role of intermediaries, eliminating their need and making direct connections to international markets. By directly selling to international markets and cutting out profit-dwindling intermediaries, the cooperative organisation model in agricultural contexts is believed to increase fair trade and break small growers out of poverty, this study sought to understand if cooperatives were truly effective at combating unfair trade and poverty. A qualitative interview approach was conducted of cooperatives across Latin America. Findings showed that cooperatives are effective at creating fair trading environments, but that they are ineffective at supporting small growers out of poverty. Calls for better economic policies and adjustments of international fair trade standards are made to be paired with cooperatives so that the organisation model can become more effective at sustaining small growers out of poverty.