Fair Trade: Social Justice and Production Alternatives

Laura Raynolds, Jennifer Keahey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This chapter analyzes Fair Trade's contributions and challenges in developing alternative production and marketing networks. We focus particularly on movement and market dynamics as they relate to Africa since this region is currently experiencing the most rapid growth in the production of Fair Trade certified commodities. Our analysis highlights the dynamic tensions driving fair market divergence and convergence at transnational and regional levels. We ground our discussion with a case study of the South African rooibos tea sector, where Fair Traders are striving to increase farm ownership and capacity building among "emerging" farmers of color who historically have been denied access to agricultural land and markets. While Fair Trade offers opportunities for combating acute agriculture inequalities, production growth is increasingly being dominated by large hired-labor estates. We argue that while Fair Trade's production and marketing networks are not immune from mainstream market pressures, there are dynamic openings for emerging farmers and their organizations to refashion Fair Trade in South Africa and to shape alternative market networks at regional and international levels.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization
EditorsMartin Parker, George Cheney, Valérie Fournier, Chris Land
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-78226-5
StatePublished - 2014


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