Twenty Lessons in the Sociology of Food and Agriculture
Unfair competition, Fair trade foods, Food sovereignty
This lesson begins by discussing the dynamics behind the structural inequity in the global trade in agrifood products. We then take a brief look at fair trade’s history, the basic mechanisms of the fair trade model for food products, and the current state of fair trade. Two case studies of fair trade in action will give a taste of the social benefits that participating in this alternative market can generate for producers, but also the limits to fair trade’s impact and the contradictions that can arise. We will also examine some key controversies that have caused major divisions within the fair trade movement and market. The lesson ends with some reflections on the future of fair trade and its ability to transform the global market.
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Published as: Jaffee, D. (2018). “Fair Trade.” in Jason Konefal and Maki Hatanaka (eds.), Twenty Lessons in the Sociology of Food and Agriculture (pp. 277-293). New York: Oxford University Press.