Chapter 17: Fair Trade, Gender and the Environment In Africa
Laura T. Raynolds and Jennifer A. Keahey Introduction Fair trade represents a promising approach to alleviating poverty and bolstering environmental sustainability in the global South through a strategy of ‘trade not aid’. The fair trade model oﬀers farmers and agricultural workers in the global South better prices, stable market links, and resources for social and environmental projects. In the global North, fair trade provides consumers with product options that uphold high social and environmental standards, and supports advocacy campaigns fostering responsible consumption practices. With its rising popularity, fair trade has come to represent an important counterpoint to the ecologically and socially destructive relations characteristic of the conventional global food system (Raynolds et al., 2007). Fair trade joins a growing array of market-based initiatives that promote social and environmental concerns through the sale of alternative, often certiﬁed, commodities. In this sense fair trade is related to other environmental certiﬁcations found largely in food, forest and ﬁber products, and to other social certiﬁcations found largely in apparel, footwear and other manufactured items (Gereﬃ and Kaplinsky, 2001). Fair trade distinguishes itself from other eﬀorts in its breadth in incorporating both environmental and social concerns, and in its depth in reshaping trade and production conditions (Raynolds, 2000; 2002). Although fair trade products continue to represent a minor share of the world market, certiﬁed sales are worth over US$1.4 billion and are growing rapidly (FLOI, 2006a). Currently over 569 fair trade organizations across 54 countries in Latin America,...
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