Fair Trade: Not As Fair As It Used To Be?

Fair Trade: Not As Fair As It Used To Be?

Cambria Bold
Feb 6, 2012

Fair Trade has long been the province of smallscale farmers and food justice advocates, but according to a recent article by Food First, when changes in fair trade certification enabled large corporations to enter the market, the concept of "Fair Trade" was irrevocably altered. Now some say Fair Trade is dead. Is it?

Food First's enlightening article on the struggle for food justice in Fair Trade is worth a read in its entirety, but to sum up, they write that unless fair trade can "renovate its governance structure and return to its original, more transformative components, it risks becoming alienated from the growing movements for food sovereignty and food justice."

In response to this article, one reader who works with small farmers in Mexico said it this way:

Real fair trade is in small-farmers and their democratic cooperatives as well as in our hometown farmer's markets, small businesses, and communities—these things are connected and worth supporting and fighting for. Authentic fair trade is a mutual agreement between people who produce things and the people who buy them. Its standards are the result of equals transparently negotiating in good faith with the intention of both parties satisfying their basic needs. All of this results—little by little—in a world where "producers" and "consumers" see each other as people and together work toward creating a sustainable global economy and global society.

Read More: The Struggle for Food Justice in Fair Trade at Food First

What do you think?

Related: Wine: All About Fair Trade Wine

(Image: Megan Gordon | The Kitchn)

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