Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Fair Trade

  • Nicole Hassoun
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_198

Recently, philosophers working on global justice have started to consider what makes trade fair (James 2009; Kurjanska and Risse 2008; Hassoun 2008a). The potential definitions of fair trade are as broad as the potential definitions of fairness – from free-market libertarian accounts to Rawlsian maximin proposals. Most of those considering the issue at least agree, however, that for trade to be fair it must promote social justice by improving the terms of trade for the poor and promoting investment in ways that benefit the poor in present and future generations. This, in any case, is one of the core ideas underlying the Fair Trade movement (International Fair Trade Association 2008). So, after considering the definitional issues, this article discusses the Fair Trade movement and whether or not purchasing Fair Trade Certified goods is morally permissible or required.

Traditionally, those interested in promoting fair trade have focused on improving the lives of poor producers or workers...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank Julian Culp for helpful comments. The material regarding Fair Trade’s impact was adapted from Hassoun (2011b).

References

  1. Bacon C (2004) Confronting the coffee crisis: can fair trade, organic, and specialty coffees reduce small-scale farmer vulnerability in northern Nicaragua? World Dev 33(3):497–511Google Scholar
  2. Brock G (1998) Necessary goods: our responsibilities to meet others’ needs. Rowman & Littlefield, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Buchanan A (1990) Justice as reciprocity vs subject-centered justice. Philos Public Aff 19:227–252Google Scholar
  4. Calo M, Wise T (2005) Revaluing peasant coffee production: organic and fair trade markets in mexico. Global Development and Environment Institute Tufts University, MedfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO) (2009a) Facts and figures. http://www.fairtrade.net/facts_and_figures.html?&L=&scale=0
  6. Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO) (2009b) About fair trade. http://www.fairtrade.net/about_fairtrade.html
  7. FLO-CERT (2009) Scope of certification. http://www.flo-cert.net/flo-cert/main.php?id=14
  8. Global Justice Movement (GJM) (2009) Global justice movement: it’s, possible! http://www.globaljusticemovement.org/
  9. Hassoun N (2007) Fair trade bio. Carnegie Mellon University Working Paper. http://www.hss.cmu.edu/philosophy/hassoun/faculty-hassoun.php
  10. Hassoun N (2008a) Free trade, poverty, and the environment. Public Aff Quart 22(4):353–380Google Scholar
  11. Hassoun N (2008b) World poverty and individual freedom. Am Philos Quart 45(2):191–198Google Scholar
  12. Hassoun N (2009a) Free trade and the environment. Environ Ethics 3(1):51–66Google Scholar
  13. Hassoun N (2009b) Meeting need. Utilitas 21(3):250–275Google Scholar
  14. Hassoun N (2010) Empirical evidence and the case for foreign aid. Public Aff Quart 24(1):1–21Google Scholar
  15. Hassoun N (2011a) Free trade, poverty, and inequality. J Moral Philos 8(1):5–44Google Scholar
  16. Hassoun N (2011b) Making free trade fair. In: Brooks T (ed) New waves in ethics. http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=361733
  17. Imhof S, Lee A (2007) Assessing the potential of fair trade for poverty reduction and conflict prevention: a case study of Bolivian coffee producers. (short version). Swisspeace and Europainstitut. University of Basel Working Paper, BaselGoogle Scholar
  18. International Fair Trade Association (2008) What is fair trade? http://www.ifat.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=11&Itemid=12. Accessed Jan 2008
  19. James A (2009) A theory of fairness in trade. Working Paper, University of California, IrvineGoogle Scholar
  20. Kurjanska M, Risse M (2008) Fairness in trade II: export subsidies and the fair trade movement. Philos Polit Econ 7:29–56Google Scholar
  21. McMahon P (2001) “Cause coffees” produce a cup with an agenda. USA Today, pp A1–A2. Accessed Jan 2008Google Scholar
  22. Milford A (2004) Coffee, co-operatives and competition: the impact of fair trade. Chr. Michelsen Institute, BergenGoogle Scholar
  23. Moellendorf D (2005) World Trade Organization and egalitarian justice. Metaphilosophy 36(1/2):0026–1068Google Scholar
  24. Murray D, Raynolds L, Taylor P (2003) One cup at a time: poverty alleviation and fair trade coffee in Latin America. Fair Trade Research Group Colorado State University. http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/Sociology/FairTradeResearchGroup. Accessed May 2011
  25. Philips J (2008) Is there a moral case for fair trade products? On the moral duty for consumers to buy and for governments to support fair trade products. In: Ruben R (ed) The impact of fair trade. Waginingen Academic, WaginingenGoogle Scholar
  26. Pogge T (2002) World poverty and human rights: cosmopolitan responsibilities and reforms. Polity, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  27. Rawls J (1999) Law of peoples. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  28. Raynolds L (2002) Poverty alleviation through participation in fair trade coffee networks: existing research and critical issues. Background paper prepared for project funded by the community and resource development program. The Ford Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. Respect Fair Trade Sports (2008). RESPECT the children: Ethiopia http://www.fairtradesports.com/gearshop/
  30. Ronchi L (2000) Fair trade in Costa Rica: an impact report. Economics Subject Group, University of Sussex, SussexGoogle Scholar
  31. Ruben R (2008) The impact of fair trade. Waginingen Academic, WaginingenGoogle Scholar
  32. Strengthen your business: aelopt Rugmark. http://www.rugmark.india.org/
  33. Taylor P (2002) Poverty alleviation through participation in fair trade coffee networks: synthesis of case study research question findings. Colorado State University. Report prepared for project funded by the community and resource development program, The Ford Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. The Economist (2006) Fair enough. The Economist, vol 378, no 8471, p 33Google Scholar
  35. White H, Bamberger M (2008) Introduction: impact evaluation in official development agencies. IDS Bulletin 39:1–11Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole Hassoun
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA