Although most people know readily know of Free Trade, relatively very few have heard of Fair Trade. That being said Fair Trade has been around for decades, in various shapes and structures. This paper will consider the overall Fair Trade debate, and consider both sides of the issue, analyzing the pros and cons. In answering the question as to whether or not fair trade networks work, the networks can work if they receive both the backing of government, consumers and multiple retail channels, and the fair trade products in question are tailored to specific consumer tastes and preferences (product differentiation). However, truthfully, fair traders and fair trade networks face an uphill battle given the prevalence of the free trade system as it exits today, and one which benefits the rich North and its multinationals at the expense of Southern producers.
[...] P.281. MacLachlan, Amy. P.20. MacLachlan, Amy. P.21. Sumner, Jennifer and Mair, Heather. “Setting the Table: The Political Economy of Food.” Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Food Studies. Revised Edition. Edited by Koc, Mustafa, and MacRae, Rod, and Bronson, Kelly. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited P.64. Sumner, Jennifer and Mair, Heather. P.64. Sumner, Jennifer and [...]
[...] “Free Trade and Fair Trade” in Introduction to International Development: Approaches, Actors and Issues. Edited by Paul A Haslam, Jessica Schafer, and Pierre Beaudet. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press Fridell, Gavin. Fair Trade Network in Historical Perspective. Canadian Journal of Development Studies. Volume 25, No (2004): 411-428. MacLachlan, Amy. about the Bean: Fair Trade is Good to the Last Drop.” Presbyterian Record. Volume 129, No (May 2005): 20-24. http://www.presbyterianrecord.ca/index.php?dir=200505&id=feature-01 Sumner, Jennifer and Mair, Heather. “Setting the Table: The Political Economy of Food.” Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Food Studies. [...]
[...] Those with limited enthusiasm for fair trade also point out how fair trade is juts a drop in the ocean, how fair trade sales of products like coffee, traditionally the largest fair trade sector, account for approximately of the total coffee market in Switzerland (2000) in the Netherlands and in Denmark. Put another way, despite the growth of the fair trade network, has still not been able to meet the needs of many of its Southern partners, with many Southern organizations are only able to sell a small proportion of their total production on fair trade markets.” Fair trade networks have also been hurt badly in recent years by a decline in tropical goods prices and by price wars amongst giant supermarket chains, further increasing the gap “between the prices of fair trade and mainstream goods, thus damaging fair trade's competitiveness.” The fair trade network has made impressive gains given its humble beginnings, and the fair trade movement has shown signs of revival in recent years as “Southern governments and NGOs have grown increasingly resistant to the demands of Northern governments and international financial institutions.” Of course, the size of the fair trade network is such that the World Bank and transnational corporations find the network a “digestible pill to swallow precisely because the network is not seen as a radical challenge to the central tenets of neoliberal globalization.” The fair trade network “represents a model that is voluntarist, market- dependent, and member-specific.” Given that fair traders have had to abandon their vision of an alternative trading system and be content with seeking out market niches for their products, fair trade has better prospects now than in the past as it competes for market share. [...]
[...] www.fairtradefederation.org Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (2008). FLO International: Annual Report 2007. http://www.fairtrade.net/ Fair Trade. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_trade Fair Trade. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_trade Fair Trade Federation. Mission. http://fairtradefederation.org/ht/d/sp/i/7408/pid/7408 Fair Trade Federation. Mission. http://fairtradefederation.org/ht/d/sp/i/7408/pid/7408 MacLachlan, Amy. about the Bean: Fair Trade is Good to the Last Drop.” Presbyterian Record. Volume 129, No (May 2005). P.20. Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (2008). FLO International: Annual Report 2007. [...]
[...] Without a doubt, fair trade is growing in volume and popularity: According to TransFair Canada, global sales of fair trade labeled products grew by more than 42 per cent between 2002 and 2003. In 2007, fair trade certified sales amounted to approximately 2.3 billion (US $ 3.62 billion) worldwide, a 47% year-to-year increase. While this represents a tiny fraction of world trade in physical merchandise, fair trade products generally account for 1-20% of all sales in their product categories in Europe and North America. In June 2008, it was estimated that over 7.5 million disadvantaged producers and their families were benefiting from fair trade funded infrastructure, technical assistance and community development projects. Fair trade networks connect small farmers and workers in the South with organizations and consumers in the North through system of ‘fair trade' rules and principles, including a minimum guaranteed price, environmental sustainability and social premiums paid to producer communities to build community infrastructure.” Historically, fair traders initially advocated an alterative trading system, and at times have been viewed as anti-Establishment, anti-free- market crusaders. [...]
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