Center for Fair & Alternative Trade

Colorado State University

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.


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