Center for Fair & Alternative Trade

Colorado State University

Improving Producers’ Market Access

Alternative markets, such as Fair Trade and organics, offer the potential for empowering small-scale producers and alleviating rural poverty in the Global South. The growing demand amongst Northern consumers for products certified as meeting social or environmental criteria, has opened up new opportunities for small producers who traditionally use less chemical inputs and are also considered key beneficiaries of social justice campaigns. Our research assesses the opportunities and challenges for linking small farmers to these critical, high-value markets in both domestic and international arenas.

In addition to the challenges of meeting specialty market social and environmental standards, small-scale producers may encounter problems in accessing market information and satisfying consumers’ quality expectations. Our research reveals that strong producer associations and movement ties are critical in providing small producers with the long-term market relationships they need for poverty alleviation. We analyze the processes by which effective producer associations form, grow their membership, build organizational capacities, and improve member and household capabilities.

CFAT Personnel: Douglas Murray, Laura Raynolds, Jennifer Keahey & Nefratiri Weeks

Funding: United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Ford Foundation; Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP); International Development Research Centre (IDRC)


Back to Research