In Geography lessons we often learn about how Fairtrade is a better way of getting the farmer at the beginning of the process a fairer income for their crop. We’ve played Fairtrade Cocoa games so we can truly understand the advantages of Fairtrade.
Perhaps the new report by a UK government-sponsored study might need to make us question this assumption? It appears to show Fairtrade farmers sometimes doing worse that comparable non-Fairtrade farmers in a similar area. The Guardian reports:
Christopher Cramer, an economics professor at the University of London and one of the report’s authors, said: “Wages in other comparable areas and among comparable employers producing the same crops but where there was no Fairtrade certification were usually higher and working conditions better. In our research sites, Fairtrade has not been an effective mechanism for improving the lives of wage workers, the poorest rural people.
You can read more of the article on the Guardian in its article about Fairtrade failing Africans.