Fair Trade!!! Is it really Fair???


After all these years of structural Adjustment policies, Live 8, The human Development program and blah blah blah, the list goes on, Fair trade seemed to be the One, The ‘Chosen One’. The One that had the answers and solutions needed to end global poverty and Bring empowerment back  to the peoples of the Third world. 

 “Guaranteeing a better deal for third world producers” (Fairtrade.org)

 Yes Yes that is all well and good and of course there is no denying that Fair trade has indeed helped many


 Did you know that in order to be part of fair trade you have to sign up and pay a certain amount of money???

 Well, just for you surprised folks, this is how it works:

 Individual farmers sign up for fair trade 
 They receive a certificate showing them to be part of the free trade alliance 
 However they have to pay yearly, a certain amount of money, which varies from country and product.

 The question is why should they have to pay to be part of free trade.

 By insisting on a sort of membership fee Fair trade are actually restricting many other farmers who do not have the money, from joining and benefiting from the various benefits of fair trade. 

 So the question is then as some critics have claimed,
Is fair trade just another elite group exclusive to its members and neglectful of others.<br /
So in this sense the winners are the Multinational corporations who exploit third world farmers. This is because Free trade has not lived up to its expected claims and by having the restriction of money on their heads the farmers have no option but to turn back to the multinational corporations. The loser are the farmers in the third world.
Mohammad Uzair


One thought on “Fair Trade!!! Is it really Fair???

  1. Fair Trade is said to contribute to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions, better income opportunities and safeguarding the rights of workers. Now let’s take fair trade coffee and see how far and beyond is the corporation ready to stand for the right of these farmers. Coffee is said to be the world second valuable traded commodity after oil and it is also an important source of foreign exchange for many countries that trade in the global market. What we consume over here in the North is being produced in the Global South and cheaply. As it is for many companies increasing their market shares is power hence allowing them to dictate prices, controlling terms and condition of how the commodity is supplied. The biggest losers are the small farmers and plantation workers as they happen to be the weakest link in the coffee value chain. Many small farmers end up going out of business because of the prices they were receiving fell below the cost of production.

    Najma A.

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