Fair Trade Market/Movement Tensions
Fair Trade is expanding rapidly around the world. This movement offers important opportunities for empowering producers and alleviating poverty in the global South and for increasing Northern consumer consciousness and action promoting global social justice. Yet, the expansion of Fair Trade into new types of commodities, production regions, and retail venues is raising important new challenges. Our research examines the challenges that Fair Trade faces in its effort to transform globalization, emphasizing the inherent tensions of working both in and against the market.
Fair Trade originated with faith-based organizations aiming to build North-South solidarity by purchasing handicrafts and other primary goods from Third World producers threatened by war or impoverished by unequal trade. Certification was developed to provide more producers with access to the high-value Fair Trade market. Today, Fair Trade includes a diverse set of organizations that range from “mission-based” groups to “market-driven” corporations. Our research focuses on how tensions between diverse actors are shaping the Fair Trade movement and market and how these tensions can be addressed to foster social justice into the future.
CFAT Personnel: Laura Raynolds, Douglas Murray, Jennifer Keahey, Claudia Rosty, Nicholas Greenfield & Nefratiri Weeks
Funding: Ford Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Mennonite Central Committee; Institute of International Education; Inter-American Foundation
- Raynolds, Laura T. and Jennifer Keahey. “Fair Trade: Social Justice and Production Alternatives.” In M. Parker, G. Cheney, V. Fournier, and C. Land (eds.) In Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization. New York, NY: Routledge. 2014.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “Fairtrade, Certification, and Labor: Global and Local Tensions in Improving Conditions for Agricultural Workers.” Agriculture and Human Values 31 (3): 499-511, 2014.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “Fair Trade: Social Regulation in Global Food Markets.” Journal of Rural Studies. 28 (3): 276–287, 2012.
- Keahey, Jennifer A., Littrell, Mary A., and Douglas L. Murray. “Business with a Mission: The Ongoing Role of Ten Thousand Villages within the Fair Trade Movement.” Pp. 265-283 in A.E. Weaver (ed.) A Table of Sharing: Mennonite Central Committee and the Expanding Networks of Mennonite Identity. Telford, PA: Cascadia, 2011.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “Mainstreaming Fair Trade Coffee: From Partnership to Traceability.” World Development. 37 (6): 1083-1093, 2009.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “Development: Fair Trade.” Pp. 8-13 in R. Kitchen & N. Thrift (eds) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography Vol. 1. Oxford: Elsevier, 2009.
- Raynolds, Laura T., Douglas L. Murray, and John Wilkinson. Fair Trade: The Challenges of Transforming Globalization. London: Routledge, 2007. Including:
- Ch 1. Murray, Douglas L. & Laura T. Raynolds “Globalization and its Antinomies: Negotiating a Fair Trade Movement” Pp. 3-14;
- Ch 2. Raynolds, Laura T. & Michael Long “Fair/Alternative Trade: Historical and Empirical Dimensions.” Pp. 15-32;
- Ch 3. Raynolds, Laura T. & John Wilkinson “Fair Trade in the Agriculture and Food Sector: Analytical Dimensions.” Pp. 33-47;
- Ch 13. Raynolds, Laura T. & Douglas L. Murray “Fair Trade: Contemporary Challenges and Future Prospects.” Pp. 223-234.
- Raynolds, Laura T. “Consumer/Producer Links in Fair Trade Coffee Networks.” Sociologia Ruralis 42 (4): 404- 424, 2002.
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