Fair Trade: partners in development? A reassessment of trading partnerships within the fair trade model

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    In recent years, Fair Trade has enjoyed enormous success as seen in strong retail sales, consumer recognition, and public support (at both a policy and community level). But as the Fair Trade movement, and particularly certified Fairtrade as defined by Marise Cremona and Gracia Marín Durán (Chapter 4), looks to ‘tip the balance’ and move further into mainstream markets, its alternative trading model has received increased critical attention, both from academics and practitioners. Questions have increasingly been raised about the theoretical foundations of Fair Trade and its ability to facilitate ‘trading partnerships based on equity and transparency’ (Fairtrade Foundation, 2011). The Fair Trade movement and the labelling initiatives have not ignored this critique. Fairtrade International launched a New Standards Framework in 2011 and has also revised its General Assembly to give producers a greater role in the governance of the organisation (Fairtrade International, 2011). For its part the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) has looked to strengthen its regional membership and has restated its commitment that small farmers and artisans should be the main focus in all governance structures and decision-making within the Fair Trade movement (WFTO, 2011). But despite these recent developments, some critics argue that Fair Trade has yet to adequately address the conceptual and practical challenges that have been raised (Griffiths, 2011). Given this context, a reassessment of the development and evolution of trading partnerships within the Fair Trade model is particularly timely.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Processes and Practices of Fair Trade
    Subtitle of host publicationTrust, Ethics, and Governance
    EditorsBrigitte Granville, Janet Dine
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9780203100684
    ISBN (Print)9780415575669
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2012

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge Studies in the Modern World Economy

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