Fair Trade from the Ground up
New Markets for Social Justice
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Washington Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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This book would not exist without the interest and encouragement of my friend and mentor Margaret Levi. In the wake of the 1999 “Battle in Seattle,” where environmental activists wearing turtle costumes united with hard-hatted unionists, larger-than-life puppets theatrically drew attention to global injustices...
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On a busy Saturday in the summer of 1993, a group of protesters organized by the US/Guatemala Labor Education Project (US/ GLEP) picketed in front of Starbucks’ recently opened 200th store in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square. They wanted Starbucks to stop purchasing coffee from plantations where workers were...
1. Fair Trade from the Ground Up
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There are over eight hundred Fair Trade certified producer organizations on four continents: Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. Nearly half of them grow coffee; others produce tea, cocoa, grains, sugar, spices, fruit, honey, wine, olive oil, and flowers. Why and how have these producers organized...
2. Fair Trade Coffee in Guatemala
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Guatemala is the world’s eighth-largest coffee-exporting country. More than 80 percent of the country’s coffee farms are in the hands of smallholders (defined as farmers or families with less than 10 hectares or 24.7 acres) who grow coffee under the shade of larger trees. The combined potential for improved livelihoods...
3. How Do Producers Spend the Social Premium?
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An important feature of Fair Trade is the social premium that buyers of Fair Trade certified products pay to the cooperatives or worker organizations that produced the coffee, tea, bananas, rice, wine, and other products they are importing. For example, the Fair Trade coffee premium is twenty cents per...
4. Selling and Buying Fair Trade
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"Fair Traders”—labelers, activists, committed businesses, and other organizations—promote Fair Trade Certified products, but what they are really selling is a social value: putting your money behind Fair Trade will help alleviate severe social inequalities faced by farmers in less-developed countries. Using a label...
5. Fair Trade Activists in the United States
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Some people’s commitment to and involvement with Fair Trade extends well beyond their own shopping habits. What motivates them to become activists? How do they understand the producer-consumer relationship? The individuals profiled here have a vested interest in ethical trade, although not all of their...
6. A Fair Trade University
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In spring 2010, my workplace, the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), became the second Fair Trade University in the United States. All coffee and tea, most sugar, and some of the rice and quinoa served in our university-managed facilities is Fair Trade Certified. Venues that sell chocolate (including beverages...
7. Growing Fair Trade
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To be sure, Fair Trade is growing. Fairtrade International’s 2009–10 annual report documents that, by the end of 2009, there were 827 certified producer groups worldwide and more than 2800 companies licensed to use the Fair Trade label on products. Between 2008 and 2009...
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Publication Year: 2012