Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fair Trade: Study shows some companies are better at playing fair

Companies using the Fairtrade Mark demonstrate different types of commitment to the fair trade movement and therefore their impact on producers in developing countries is not the same, according to a new review from the University of York.
The report identifies seven categories, or ‘value chains’ for Fairtrade, assessing products from production through to their sale to consumers. They range from products that are 100 per cent Fairtrade that are produced, supplied and retailed by Fair Trade Organisations, to major brands converting products to be Fairtrade certified for general sale by multinational corporations such as Procter & Gamble and Cadburys.

This paper critically examines the discourse surrounding fair trade mainstreaming, and discusses the potential avenues for the future of the social movement. The paper highlights a number of benefits of mainstreaming, not least the continued growth of the global fair trade market (tipped to top $7bn in 2012). However, the paper also highlights the negative consequences of mainstreaming on the long-term viability of fair trade as a credible ethical standard.

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