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...

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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

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