Center for Fair & Alternative Trade

Colorado State University



Laura T. Raynolds: Professor of Sociology, CSU. Dr. Raynolds research focuses on production, social movements, network organization, and market issues in fair and alternative trade. Her research is informed by expertise in globalization, stratification, agriculture and food, gender, and political economy and by extensive fieldwork in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is the co-editor of Handbook of Research on Fair Trade and Fair Trade: The Challenges of Transforming Globalization and author of numerous articles and book chapters.


Elizabeth Bennett: Assistant Professor of International Affairs, Lewis & Clark College (Portland, Oregon). Dr. Bennett has a PhD in political science from Brown University. She has published in several journals and edited volumes including the American Journal of SociologyWorld Development, Sustainable Development, Globalizations, and the Social Enterprise Journal, co-authored The Civic Imaginationan ethnography of activism in America, and co-edited The Handbook of Research on Fair Trade. See:


Michael Carolan: Professor and Chair of Sociology, CSU. Dr. Carolan’s research focuses on food production and consumption. He is actively engaged in debates surrounding such phenomena as food insecurity, social and environmental sustainability, and the constitution of “value”. His most recent books include The Real Cost of Cheap Food, Reclaiming Food Security, and Cheaponomics: The High Cost of Low Prices. To learn more about Dr. Carolan, please visit:

Maureen DeCoursey: Private Consultant. Ms. DeCoursey (MF, Yale University) is an expert in forest and natural-resource based sustainable development. She brings to CFAT senior-level programming and project management expertise from over 20 countries. Areas of expertise include environment-friendly rural development, small-medium enterprises, the natural products sector, non-timber forest products, fair and alternative trade, community-based conservation, protected areas, sustainable agriculture, and ecotourism.

Sonali Diddi: Assistant Professor in Dept. of Design and Merchandising, CSU. Dr. Diddi’s research focuses on corporate responsibility, sustainability, and consumer behavior in the apparel industry.  Her work explores the influence of socially responsible business practices and communications regarding sustainability in informing consumer decisions and individual consumer responsibility towards sustainable development and ethical consumption practices.


Molly Eckman: Emeritus Professor of Merchandising, CSU. Dr. Eckman’s research interests include the effect of culture on consumer behavior, internationalization of retailing, and social responsibility in the global apparel and footwear supply chain. She is co-author of Social Responsibility in the Global Apparel Industry. Most recently, along with colleagues, she has published journal articles in International Marketing Review, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, and the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal.

Alexandra E. Hill: Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, CSU. Dr. Hill’s research interests include agricultural labor, economic productivity, agricultural business management, and applied industrial organization. Her current research focuses on the productivity effects of compensation policies, quality determinants in the fresh fruit industry, peer effects among agricultural workers, and the effects of specialty certifications on producers and farmworkers.


Douglas B. Holt: President, Cultural Strategy Group. Former marketing professor, Harvard and Oxford, currently working to bring brand strategy to environment and social justice oriented social movement organizations. Dr. Holt’s academic research focuses on the  sociology of consumption; his management research develops a socio-cultural approach to branding (How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding) and innovation (Cultural Strategy: How Innovative Ideologies Build Extraordinary Brands).

Annabel Ipsen: Assistant Professor of Sociology, CSU. Dr. Ipsen’s research focuses on how place-based assets can contribute to development in global agriculture. She is particularly interested in how technology, regulation, and place shape production processes and development outcomes across the Americas.



Becca Jablonski Becca B.R. Jablonski: Assistant Professor and Food Systems Extension Economist, CSU. Dr. Jablonski’s research focuses on processes of rural and regional development, identifying strategies to support entrepreneurship, improve agribusiness performance and enhance regional food systems. She is particularly interested in assessing the long-term economic and social impacts of food system initiatives to participating farmers, supply chain participants, and rural/regional economies.


Jennifer Keahey: Assistant Professor, School of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Arizona State University. Dr. Keahey studies the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of alternative production and trade networks engaging participatory methods to help realize sustainable development in a global era. Most recently, she conducted fieldwork in South Africa’s rooibos tea sector, working with scholars, practitioners, and small-scale farmers to co-develop an integrated ‘participatory commodity networking’ approach to fair trade research and producer support.

John Lindenbaum: Special Assistant Professor, CSU. Dr. Lindenbaum (A.B. Princeton University, Ph.D. UC-Berkeley) teaches Cultural Geography, the Geography of Commodities and Urban Geography at Colorado State. Dr. Lindenbaum’s academic research explores the production of new meanings and subjectivities through decommodification in U.S. food banks. Dr. Lindenbaum has published articles in Antipode, Cultural Geographies and Geoforum.


Mary Littrell: Professor Emeritus and former Department Head of Design and Merchandising, CSU. Dr. Littrell is an expert on corporate social responsibility and alternative trade organizations. Her research focuses on artisan enterprise sustainability and fair trade. She is co-author of the path breaking book Social Responsibility in the Global Market: Fair Trade of Cultural Products and of Artisans and Fair Trade: Crafting Development. Her fair trade research focuses on India and Guatemala.

Michael Long: Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Northumbria University, UK. Dr. Long studies ethical consumption in the agro-food sector using largely quantitative techniques. His dissertation, completed at CSU, examines motivations for engaging in ethical consumption. Dr. Long’s research focuses on consumption patterns, consumer movements, as well as broader issues of quantitative methodology and political economy.

Jessie Luna, Assistant Professor of Sociology, CSU. Dr. Luna studies the intersections of culture and political economy, examining how cultural processes and status politics secure consent or resistance to capitalism. Her research investigates how racial projects of modernity have shaped processes of agrarian change, uneven wealth accumulation, and rural dispossession in cotton farming in Burkina Faso. As part of this work, she has examined the barriers and motivations shaping farmers’ choices to adopt either input-intensive or organic cotton production.

Douglas L. Murray: Emeritus-Professor of Sociology, CSU and CFAT Co-Founder. Dr. Murray’s research and applied work has focused on agricultural modernization in the developing world and accompanying social and ecological changes, most notably in chemical intensive farming. He is co-editor of the book, Fair Trade: The Challenges of Transforming Globalization. He also advises NGOs and international development agencies on issues of agriculture, fair and alternative trade, and social change.

Siphelo Ngcwangu: Senior Lecturer at the Sociology Department, University of Johannesburg. Dr. Ngcwangu’s research focuses on skills development, education and the economy, youth unemployment and the restructuring of work. After completing his MA in Sociology at CSU, affiliated with CFAT, he completed his PhD thesis and worked in various public, private and university sectors, including the South African Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dept. Dr. Ngcwangu has ongoing interest in Fairtrade, social transformation, agrarian change and related political economy questions in South Africa.

Christine M. Porter: Associate Professor of Public Health, Division of Kinesiology & Health, University of Wyoming; Project Director and Principal Investigator, Food Dignity and Growing Resilience. While earning a Ph.D. in Community Nutrition from Cornell University, Christine was active as a researcher and citizen in the local obesity prevention and food justice initiatives. Christine is interested in ethics, radical democracy, social justice, and elimination of health disparities. She pursues these interests through her current action research with community organizing to build equitable, healthy, democratic, and sustainable food systems.

Anthony Roberts: Assistant Professor of Sociology, CSU. Dr. Roberts studies the impacts of financialization and the globalization of production on economic inequality, industrial relations, and labor policy in developed, emerging, and less-developed economies. He is particularly interested in using quantitative macro-comparative techniques to investigate how intermediate international trade and foreign direct investment affect industrial relations and labor rights since the 1970s.


Claudia Rosty: PhD in Sociology, CSU.  Dr. Rosty’s research focuses on global agro-food systems, social inequality, and gender. With funding from the Inter-American Foundation, she recently completed her dissertation entitled “Fair Trade Certified Coffee Estates: Can Fair Trade USA Promote Workers’ Well-Being, Empowerment and Gender Equity in Brazilian and Nicaraguan Coffee Plantations?”


Joshua Sbicca: Assistant Professor of Sociology, CSU. Dr. Sbicca’s research focuses on contentious food politics, food justice, social movements, and social inequality. He is particularly interested in the social dynamics of labor and land use politics, and the complexities of developing initiatives and coalitions that advance social justice and environmental sustainability. His work also explores how food becomes a tool for social change. For more please visit:


Dimitris Stevis: Professor of Political Science, CSU. Dr. Stevis is an expert on transnational regulatory agreements. His research and teaching focus on international environmental politics and policies, environmental and labor regulation, and environmental justice. Building on an ILO funded project on International Framework Agreements between multinational corporations and unions, Dr. Stevis is working with CFAT to research synergies and tensions between Fair Trade and labor rights strategies.

Tuba Ustuner: Assistant Professor of Marketing, College of Business, CSU. Dr. Ustuner’s research extends the sociology of consumption to the distinctive context of the developing world. Her research emphasizes consumer acculturation and status consumption, and has appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research, Harvard Business Review, and Advances in Consumer Research. Before entering academics, she worked as a financial analyst and manage a small business-to-business trading company in Turkey.

Research Assistants:

Nicholas Greenfield: Nick is a Sociology PhD student at Colorado State University. He is a UK and South African national with a MA in Critical Global Politics from the University of Exeter. His MA thesis analyzed the extent the fair trade movement can defetishize the commodity, drawing on the case of gold. Nick’s current research interests include how reciprocity and empowerment are formed in global trade through the everyday practices of consumers and producers.


Sneha KadyanSneha Kadyan: Sneha is a PhD student in Sociology at Colorado State University. She has BA, MA and M.Phil in Sociology from Delhi University, India. Her current research is focused on understanding the global and local dimensions of fair trade in cotton production and the apparel industry in India and its implications for its various stakeholders.

Nefratiri Weeks: Nefratiri is a Sociology PhD student at CSU, concentrating in political economy.  She studies the mechanisms and processes through which inequality is maintained between and within nations in the globalized capitalist economy, focusing on how and why liberalized capital markets:  fail to fairly distribute scarce economic goods, perpetuate inequalities, and maintain unsustainable production, exchange, and consumption.


In addition to our staff and associates, CFAT also works with several graduate student researchers. Click to learn more about our CFAT graduate students and their research topics.

Back to About Us Home