Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Fair Trade

Handbook of Research on Fair Trade

Edited by Laura T. Raynolds and Elizabeth A. Bennett

Fair trade critiques the historical inequalities inherent in international trade and seeks to promote social justice by creating alternative networks linking marginalized producers (typically in the global South) with progressive consumers (typically in the global North). The first of its kind, this volume brings together 43 of the foremost fair trade scholars from around the world and across the social sciences. The Handbook serves as both a comprehensive overview and in-depth guide to dominant perspectives and concerns. Chapters analyze the rapidly growing fair trade movement and market, exploring diverse initiatives and organizations, production and consumption regions, and food and cultural products. Written for those new to fair trade as well as those well versed in this domain, the Handbook is an invaluable resource for scholars and practitioners interested in global regulation, multi-stakeholder initiatives, social and environmental certification, ethical labeling, consumer activism, and international development.

Chapter 2: Fair trade: movement and markets

Laura T. Raynolds and Nicholas Greenfield

Subjects: development studies, agricultural economics, development economics, development studies, economics and finance, agricultural economics, development economics, international economics, political economy, environment, agricultural economics, politics and public policy, human rights, political economy, regulation and governance


Fair trade has emerged over recent years as a powerful initiative to socially regulate global markets. This movement seeks to challenge historically unequal international trade relations and promote social justice and environmental sustainability in global production. Fair trade strives to foster the wellbeing and empowerment of producers and workers in the global South through the provision of higher prices, stable market links, better working conditions and community development resources. In the global North fair trade seeks to promote responsible consumption and provide shoppers with alternative, typically certified, socially and environmentally friendly products. Over a million producers and hundreds of millions of consumers participate in these new transnational networks, with annual sales of certified Fairtrade products exceeding US$6 billion (Fairtrade International 2013). In this chapter we analyze the fair trade movement and market, focusing on the complex and contested nature of fair trade institutions, market relations, commodity networks and production conditions. Our analysis shows how in each of these arenas social movement efforts to promote alternative relational and civic values are repeatedly challenged, but not subsumed, by dominant market forces seeking to advance conventional commercial and industrial interests.

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