Small Farmer & Household Impacts
This project examines the critical role of Fair Trade in the survival of small-scale producers and identifies the key financial and non-financial benefits derived from participation in Fair Trade for farmers, families, communities, and cooperative groups. We analyze the central challenges facing Fair Trade as a vehicle for producer empowerment. Our research reveals that the effectiveness of community-level organizations and the strength of their ties to the Fair Trade network are critical to the long-term poverty alleviating potential of the initiative. Secondary-level regional cooperatives play a crucial role in transmitting necessary capacities to community-level organizations and facilitating their insertion into the broader Fair Trade network.
Our work in this area focuses on the impact of Fair and Alternative Trade engagement on producers across a range of commodity areas and regions, including coffee in Latin America, rooibos tea in South Africa, and small-scale banana production in the Caribbean. Future research will examine the characteristics and impacts of alternative Fair Trade democratic organizations, such as all women cooperatives.
CFAT Personnel: Douglas Murray, Laura Raynolds, Maureen DeCoursey, Jennifer Keahey & Nicholas Greenfield.
Funding: Ford Foundation, United States Agency for International Development, & Cafédirect.
- 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. “The Impacts of Cafédirect’s Business Model: A Comparative Analysis of Producer Partners in Peru and Mexico.” Consultancy Report prepared for Cafédirect, 2007.
- Taylor, Peter Leigh, Douglas L. Murray and Laura T. Raynolds. “Keeping Trade Fair: Governance Challenges in the Fair Trade Coffee Initiative.” Sustainable Development 13: 199-208, 2005.
- Raynolds, Laura T., Douglas Murray and Peter Leigh Taylor. “Fair Trade Coffee: Building Producer Capacity via Global Networks.” Journal of International Development 16: 1109-1121, 2004.
- Murray, Douglas, Laura T. Raynolds, and Peter Leigh Taylor. One Cup at a Time: Poverty Alleviation and Fair Trade in Latin America, 2003.
- Fair Trade Research Group’s Case Studies in Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
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