Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 563–576 | Cite as

Uneven and unequal people-centered development: the case of Fair Trade and Malawi sugar producers

Article

Abstract

This paper advances critical Fair Trade literature by exploring reasons for and lessons from uneven and unequal lived experiences of Fairtrade certification. Fieldwork was conducted in 2007 and 2008 to explore views and develop interpretations from various actors directly and indirectly participating in a Fairtrade certified sugar organization in Malawi. By exploring an embedded social and political context in a production place, and challenging assumptions and expectations of a Fair Trade community empowerment approach, research reveals intended and unintended consequences since certification. Findings propose lessons to adopt more nuanced understandings of place and context in Fair Trade approaches to facilitate more balanced community empowerment outcomes.

Keywords

Fair Trade Community Empowerment Sugar Malawi 

Abbreviations

ACP

African Caribbean Pacific

CSA

Cane Supply Agreement

DOP

Division of proceeds

EU

European Union

FLO

Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International

FSP

Fairtrade Social Premium

FTO

Fair Trade Organization

GAP

Good Agricultural Practice

GPN

Global Production Networks

GVC

Global value chain

KCGL

Kasinthula Cane Growers Limited (in Malawi)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural Resources InstituteUniversity of GreenwichChatham MaritimeUK

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