Understanding Sustainability

Sustainability References

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Reference Search Results You searched for fairtrade

Babin, Nicholas. 2015. "The Coffee Crisis, Fair Trade, and Agroecological Transformation: Impacts on Land-Use Change in Costa Rica." Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 39(1):99-129.

Bacon, Christofer M., V. Ernesto Méndez, Stephen R. Gliessman, Davod Goodman, and Jonathon A. Fox. 2008. Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Fair Trade, Sustainable Livlihoods and Ecosystems in Mexico and in Central America. MIT Press, Cambridge. [review by S. Lyon (PDF)]

Bacon, Christopher M. 2013. "Quality revolutions, solidarity networks, and sustainability innovations: Following Fair Trade coffee from Nicaragua to California." Journal of Political Ecology 20:98-115. [PDF]

  • "…since a certification system was introduced in 1988 across many large corporations, Fair Trade labeling has increasingly become another niche marketing strategy (Bacon, et al., 2008). The increasing power of certification agencies and their pursuit of aggressive market-based growth, often at the expense of demands for social justice, has undermined the positions of many smallholder leaders and started to dilute the alternative trade and civil society and movement dimensions of the Fair Trade hybrid (Jaffee 2007; Bacon et al. 2008)." (p. 112)

Bhagwati, Jagdish. 1995. "Trade Liberalisation and 'Fair Trade' Demands: Addressing the Environmental and Labour Standards Issues." World Economy 18(6):745-759. [PDF

Bird, Kate and David R. Hughes. 1997. "Ethical Consumerism: The Case of 'Fairly-Traded' Coffee." Business Ethics 6(3):159-167. [PDF]

Chin-Sweeney, Patricia Jason Spindler. 2011. "The Future of Fair Trade…Is There One? If Fair Trade coffee quality doesn’t improve, the Direct Trade movement will quickly become a growing threat." (Blog) Stanford Social Innovation Review 6 June.

De Pelsmaker, Patrick, Liesbeth Driesen, and Glenn Rayp. 2003. "Are fair trade labels good business? Ethics and coffee buying intentions." Working paper, January 2003, Universiteit Gent. [PDF]

De Pelsmaker, Patrick, Liesbeth Driesen, and Glenn Rayp. 2005. "Do Consumers Care about Ethics? Willingness to Pay for Fair-Trade Coffee." The Journal of Consumer Affairs 39(2):363-385. [PDF

Ericson, Rose Benz. 2006. The Conscious Consumer: Promoting Economic Justice through Fair Trade, 4th Edition. Fair Trade Resource Network, Washington, D.C. [excerpts (PDF)]

Fisher, Eleanor and Hannah Sheppard. 2012. "Pushing the Boundaries of the Social: Private Agri-food Standards and the Governance of Fair Trade in European Public Procurement." International Journal of Sociology Agriculture and Food 20(1):31-49. [PDF]

Fridell, Gavin, Daniel Jaffee, and Laura Raynolds. 2009. "Dissecting the Boom: Is Fair Trade growing its way out of its roots?" Historical Materialism 17:237-299. 

Fridell, Gavin. 2007. Fair Trade Coffee: The Prospects and Pitfalls of Market-driven Social Justice. University of Toronto Press, Toronto. [review by Stuart McCook]

Fridell, Mara, Ian Hudson, and Mark Hudson. 2008. "With Friends Like These: The Corporate Response to Fair Trade Coffee." Review of Radical Political Economics 40:8-34. [PDF]

Goodman, Jenn and Mark Camp. 2005. "So, You Want to Be a Fair Trader?" Cultural Survival Quarterly 29(3).

Haight. Colleen. 2011. "The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee." Stanford Social Innovation Review Summer. [see "Fair Trade: A Model for Sustainable Development" by P. Rice for an opposing view

Hainmueller, Jens, Michael J. Hiscox, and Sandra Sequeira. 2011. "Consumer Demand for the Fair Trade Label: Evidence from a Field Experiment." MIT. [PDF]

Hayes, Mark and Geoff Moore. 2005. "The Economics of Fair Trade: A Guide in Plain English." International Workshop on the Economics of Fair Trade, Northumbria University, Newcastle, U.K., 28 January.

Holt-Giménez, Eric, Ian Bailey, and Devon Sampson. 2007. "Fair to the Last Drop: The Corporate Challenges to Fair Trade Coffee." Development Report #17, Food First, Oakland. [PDF]

Howse, R. and M.J. Trebilcock. 1996. "The Fair Trade-Free Trade Debate: Trade, Labor, and the Environment." International Review of Law and Economics 16(1):61-79.

Irezabal, Alberto. 2011. "Bringing Fair Trade to Indigenous Farmers." COO, Bats'il Maya; Co-Founder, Capeltic. Podcast from the Social Innovation Conversations, Center for Social Innovation, Stanford University.

Jaffee, Daniel and Philip H. Howard. 2016. "Who's the Fairest of Them All? The Fractured Landscape of U.S. Fair Trade Certification." Agriculture and Human Values 33(4):813-826.

  • "We make two primary arguments. First, we contend that the case of fair trade challenges the dominant conceptual model used to analyze competition among multiple private standards in a single arena, in which newer challengers lower the rigor of standards. Second, we argue that the present fragmented U.S. certification landscape illuminates preexisting divisions among different interest groups over which principles—and which labor and production forms—should be privileged under the banner of 'fair trade.' The opacity of the differences in these principles to consumers, and the resource disparities between the various seals, suggest that those initiatives with the most stringent standards may face significant barriers to success." (p. 814)

  • "…nearly from its inception Transfair USA (now FTUSA) has lacked meaningful participation by civil society in its governance, and developed a hierarchical administrative model in which the CEO exercises considerable power (Jaffee 2012; Raynolds 2012)." (p. 215)

  • "The issue of increased corporate participation in fair trade in the U.S. and the terms on which that access was granted has generated major tensions between two groups of retail firms, which Jaffee (2007) terms movement-oriented (small and medium-sized ethical firms typically selling exclusively fair-trade products, such as Equal Exchange) and profit-oriented (medium or large firms drawn by the profits from growing demand, such as Starbucks or Dole). The former group alleged that the profit-oriented participants have caused fair trade standards to become watered down. Antagonized by what they perceived as their unfavorable treatment by the U.S. certifier, virtually all of the small and medium movement-oriented companies had by 2011 left Transfair certification, the same year it changed its name to Fair Trade USA (Jaffee 2012)." (p. 816)

  • "The entire FLO system has embraced a strategy of 'mainstreaming' fair trade by selling certified products through conventional brands and retail channels in order to reach mass consumer audiences." (p. 816)

  • "Of the four seals, the Small Producer Symbol arguably hews most closely to the fair trade movement’s original model and founding principles by certifying only the products of organized small farmers, who are also the owners of the seal." (p. 823)

  • "The proliferation of fair trade seals clearly alters the fair trade consumption landscape and places a greater burden on consumers who seek options that enhance rather than weaken social justice in the global food system, albeit within the constrained realm of the marketplace. While fair-trade activists once could advise shoppers simply to “look for the label,” informed purchasing now obliges consumers to engage in additional research and balance multiple factors. … the fragmentation will [may] cement into place the fundamental splits already existing in the fair trade system, with weaker standards creating a lower floor for labor practices in agribusiness on one hand, and multiple variants of a higher floor for small and medium firms still dedicated to the original smallholder model on the other. Such spaces of resistance may be challenging to maintain, given the much greater resources available to the agribusiness-supported labels." (p. 824)

  • "This article has made two principal arguments. First, the fracturing of fair trade certification in the United States illustrates broader institutional and ideological divisions within the fair trade system and movement, centered on the question of which production forms and actors should be privileged: organized peasant smallholders, or plantation agriculture employing hired laborers. Advocates of the latter vision argue that limiting fair trade certification to small farmers denies the leverage of the seal to exploited plantation workers, and that fair trade is the best route to reform labor practices in corporate agriculture (Neuman 2011; Rice 2012). On the other hand, defenders of the small producer model claim that expanding fair-trade certification of plantations undercuts small producers and permits fairwashing by agrifood TNCs with problematic records in labor rights, environmental practices, and other areas." (p. 824)
  • "Second, we have argued that this case requires a reevaluation of the dominant frameworks used by scholars to analyze contexts in which multiple private standards compete within a single arena. While it confirms Smith and Fischlein’s (2010) argument that competition among rival standards in the same arena results from the exclusion of important stakeholders (in this context organized small producers and movement-oriented firms), the case of fair trade in the U.S. departs from the pattern observed in other contested standards arenas, in which an initial rigorous system located in civil society is supplanted by competing, lower-bar systems from either industry or other NGO actors." (p. 824)
  • "…the United States, … whose key fair trade body … contributed the most to setting the stage for corporate entry with few safeguards at the international level, and thus to the weakening of fair trade standards more generally…" (p. 825)

Jaffee, Daniel. 2007. Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival. University of California Press, Berkeley. [review by Christopher Bacon] [review by Stuart McCook]

  • From Bacon's review: "Although producer cooperatives, coffee companies, social movement organizers, and consumers have used Fair Trade as an effective tool for change, much work remains. So far, none of the certification systems have managed to stop migration, assure farmers’ food security, or significantly reduce economic poverty. The movement must get stronger and push for even higher standards if we hope to create meaningful partnerships with small-scale farmers in the transition from survival to sustainability."
  • Note: the book and the review were written in 2007. The situation has not improved.

Jimenez, Michael. 1995. "From Plantation to Cup: Coffee and Capitalism in the United States, 1830-1930." Pages 38-64 in William Roseberry, Lowell Gudmundson, and Mario Samper Kutschbach (eds.), Coffee, Society, and Power in Latin America. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Jones, Kevin. 2008. "Why I Like Fair Trade… And What It Needs. Good Capital invests in socially responsible Adina." (Blog.) Stanford Social Innovation Review 2 December.

Kox, Henk L.M. 1991. "Integration of Environmental Externalities in International Commodity Agreements." World Development 19:933-943. [abstract]

Le Mare, Ann. 2008. "The Impact of Fair Trade on Social and Economic Development: A Review of the Literature." Geography Compass 2(6):1922-1942.

  • "Abstract. This article explores the outcomes of Fair Trade for producers, artisans and their organisations. It asks the question, ‘what happens to people who are involved in Fair Trade?’, and reviews the case studies and empirical research conducted on Fair Trade for a range of products in different countries. The article is organised around important aspects of development which Fair Trade seeks to influence, including market relations, institutional development, economic development and reductions in poverty, social development, gender equity and sustainable development. The outcomes are diverse and complex, though, most studies found significant impact on social and economic aspects of development, contributing to the capacity to improve and diversify livelihoods. Fostering sustainable commercial organisations is an important contribution of Fair Trade networks. However, there appears to be less success in achieving gender equality and dealing with issues of importance to women. Both the enactment of partnership and the achievement of development goals require continuous commitment, a variety of strategies and cooperation with other actors, such as government and non-governmental organisations."

LeBaron, Genevieve. 2018. The Global Business of Forced Labour: Report of Findings. Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI), University of Sheffield. [PDF]

  • "Ethical certification schemes are largely ineffective in combatting labour exploitation and forced labour in tea and cocoa supply chains.

…standards are routinely violated by employers.

Some of the worst cases of exploitation documented within our research occurred on ethically certified plantations.

Workers … are instructed to alter their working practices (e.g. in relation to safety equipment) to meet standards during annual audits by certifiers, but are then asked to revert to breaking standards the following day, suggesting that producers are cheating audits and inspections.

Most workers in our study did not know whether or not they worked on certified worksites.

Ethical certification schemes tend to contain loopholes that create exceptions related to the most vulnerable workers within each industry.

When interviewed about these gaps and challenges, certifiers repeatedly claimed that their standards do not provide a guarantee that they are being met. According to one certifier, ‘there is no guarantee. We don’t use the word guarantee’. In this light, the way ethical certification schemes are portrayed to consumers needs to be revisited." (PP. 3-4)

  • "Ethical certification organisations often give consumers the impression that buying certified products means that their purchasing choices are not contributing to labour exploitation." (p. 37)

Lyon, Sarah and Mark Moberg (eds.). 2010. Fair Trade and Social Justice Global Ethnographies. New York University Press, New York. [review by Ian Hussey]

Lyon, Sarah, Josefina Aranda Bezaury, and Tad Mutersbaugh. 2010. "Gender Equity in Fairtrade–Organic Coffee Producer Organizations: Cases from Mesoamerica." GeoForum 41(1):93-103. [abstract

Lyon, Sarah. 2010. Coffee and Community: Maya Farmers and Fair-Trade Markets. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. [Introduction (PDF)] [review]

McCook, Stuart. 2008. "Coffee and Flowers: Recent Research on Commodity Chains, Neoliberalism, and Alternative Trade in Latin America." Latin American Research Review 43:268-277.

  • [Jaffee] "...concludes that markets alone cannot provide economic and social justice. The ultimate goal should be to make all trade fair. For that, voluntary, market-based solutions are not enough." (pp. 272-273)

  • "Ziegler systematically compares flower production in the Netherlands and Ecuador, exploring the different political, economic, and institutional conditions that shape their places in the global flower trade. Dutch flower farms tend to be quite small (roughly one hectare), but Dutch flowers are of much higher value than are South American flowers. Dutch flower growers are also organized into groups and receive a wide range of support from the state, which facilitates both trade and innovation. In contrast, flower farms in Latin America are much larger on average (eighteen hectares) and tend to be run by family companies with only limited state support. Like the Dutch, flower growers in Latin America are located in geographical clusters; unlike the Dutch, they do not collaborate much." (p. 275)
  • "…these works have identified an ongoing crisis in the fair-trade commodity chain, which is being both transformed and aggravated by the growing role of large corporations." (p. 277)
  • "…the studies of coffee and flowers reviewed here show that commodity chains have been fundamentally transformed by the declining power of states and the increased power of capital." (p. 277)

Moberg, Mark. 2014. "Certification and Neoliberal Governance: Moral Economies of Fair Trade in the Eastern Caribbean." American Anthropologist 116(1):8-22. 

  • "Abstract. Many consumers and food-justice activists regard Fair Trade as a moral alternative to markets dominated by corporate agribusiness. Fair Trade frames producer–consumer relationships in the language of reciprocity and justice rather than the impersonal logic of the market. Despite its moral economy discourse, the movement embodies neoliberal assumptions that regulation and development should occur through the realm of consumer choice rather than state intervention. To receive the higher prices that Fair Trade promises, farmers are subject to certification processes that heavily regulate their planting practices and development priorities. Here I explore the contrasting views of economic morality held by Fair Trade organizations and Caribbean banana farmers. Farmers do not view Fair Trade in terms of the lofty values of social justice and reciprocity animating the movement's discourse. Rather, they operate with a working definition of economic morality similar to those elucidated by E. P. Thompson, James Scott, Marc Edelman, and others who have examined peasant and worker responses to injustice. From farmers’ points of view, compliance with Fair Trade certification should at least enable them to persist in agriculture. As Fair Trade prices have fallen while surveillance of their working lives has increased, many regard this notion of economic morality as increasingly violated."

Murray, Douglas, Laura Raynolds, and Peter Taylor. 2003. One Cup at a Time: Poverty Alleviation and Fair Trade in Latin America. Fair Trade Research Group, Colorado State University. [PDF]

Oosterveer, Peter, Gabriëlle Rossing, Astrid Hendriksen, and Keete Voerman. 2014. "Mainstreaming fair trade: the role of retailers." Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 10(2):4-13.  

Raynolds, Laura, Douglas Murray, and John Wilkinson. 2007. Fair Trade: The Challenges of Transforming Globalization. Taylor & Francis, London. [review (PDF)]

Rice, Paul. 2011. "Fair Trade: A Model for Sustainable Development. Fair Trade is a viable vehicle for producers to strengthen their positions and take more control over their lives." Stanford Social Innovation Review 23 January. [counterpoint to "The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee" by C. Haight] 

Rice, Robert A. 1999. "A Place Unbecoming: The Coffee Farm of Northern Latin America." Geographical Review 89(4):554-579.

Roseberry, William. 1996. "The Rise of Yuppie Coffees and the Reimagination of Class in the United States." American Anthropologist 98(4):762-775. [PDF]

Stiglitz, Joseph E. and Andrew Charlton. 2007. Fair Trade for All: How Trade Can Promote Development. Oxford University Press, New York. [review]

Taylor, Peter Leigh, Douglas L. Murray, and Laura T. Raynolds. 2005. "Keeping Trade Fair: Governance Challenges in the Fair Trade Coffee Initiative." Sustainable Development 13:199-208. [abstract]

Trentmann, Frank. 2007. "Before 'Fair Trade': Empire, Free Trade, and the Moral Economies of Food in the Modern World." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 25:1079-1102.

Valkila, Joni. 2009. "Fair Trade Organic Coffee Production in Nicaragua—Sustainable Development or a Poverty Trap?" Ecological Economics 68(12):3018-3025. [abstract]

Wolpin, Miles. 1997. "Fair Trade Standards, Economic Well-being and Human Rights as Costs of Free Trade." International Journal of Peace Studies 2(1).

Woods, Ngaire, Jagdish Bhagwati, and Saugato Datta. 2010. "Fair trade. This house believes that making trade fairer is more important than making it freer." The Economist 4 May.

Yang, Shang-Ho, Wuyang Hu, Malvern Mupandawana, and Yun Liu. 2012. "Consumer Willingness to Pay for Fair Trade Coffee: A Chinese Case Study." Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 44(1):21-34. [PDF]

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