Fair Trade from the Ground Up
New Markets for Social Justice
Fair Trade promises to raise living standards in developing countries through:
- Published: July 2015
- Subject Listing: Anthropology; Environmental Studies
- Bibliographic information: 200 pp., 18 illus., 6 x 9 in.
- Territorial rights: World Rights
- worldwide minimum prices for commodities
- support for democratically governed cooperatives
- requirement of minimum wages and safety standards for workers
- training to help producers improved quality and develop business skills
- encouragement of eco-friendly practices
- third-party certification
In contrast to the free trade status quo, Fair Trade relies on informed consumers to choose more direct supply chains that minimize the role of middlemen, offering economic justice and social change as a viable and sustainable alternative to charity. But does it work?
Fair Trade from the Ground Up documents achievements at both the producer and the consumer ends of commodity chains and assesses prospects for future growth. From Guatemalan coffee farmers to student activists on U.S. college campuses, the stories of individuals inform April Linton's analysis. Drawing on studies by social scientists and economists, as well as on new case studies, she provides balanced answers to hard questions: How can large institutions be persuaded to commit to using Fair Trade suppliers? Does ethical consumerism work? Are the "social premiums" that are built into Fair Trade prices really being used for community projects? Will Fair Trade market growth reach the scale of organics or green products? This book meets a long-felt need among economic-justice activists, consumer groups, and academics for a reliable qualitative and quantitative overview of achievements of the Fair Trade movement.
April Linton taught sociology at the University of California San Diego and now works for the Fair Labor Association in Washington, DC. She is coeditor of The Global Governance of Food.
"In Fair Trade from the Ground Up April Linton brings together all the ingredients that have made Fair Trade what it is today. Everyone who cares about a more just world-trade system, or simply a better deal for the people who work to make the treats that we all enjoy every day, should read this book and help us to make Fair Trade the norm in the USA."
-Sophi Tranchell, Managing Director, Divine Chocolate Ltd.
"Linton pulls back the curtain on the Fair Trade movement, and offers a compelling look at the nuances that make up the Fair Trade effort, integrating individual stories with well-researched analysis that is both astute and fair minded."
-Paul Rice, President and CEO, Fair Trade USA
"This book makes some important, fresh contributions to assessing the impacts of Fair Trade for producers, and to learning from advocacy efforts. While academics have done lots of case studies about Fair Trade, very few have begun synthesizing the results of the scattered evidence and methodologies the way April Linton does."
-Jeff Goldman, Executive Director, Fair Trade Resource Network
"A great strength of this book is the breadth of the original surveys of everyone from producers to business owners to activists and institutional players. I don't know of any other work with such a broad assemblage of empirical pieces."
-Matt Warning, University of Puget Sound
1. Fair Trade from the Ground Up
2. Fair Trade Coffee in Guatemala
3. How Do Producers Spend the Social Premium?
4. Selling and Buying Fair Trade
5. Fair Trade Activisim in the United States
6. A Fair Trade University
7. Growing Fair Trade