Published In

For A Better World

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2012


Coffee industry -- Developing countries, Fair trade foods -- Social aspects -- Developing countries


The fair trade certification world has entered a period of major change. The recent departure of Fair Trade USA from the international certification system led by Fair Trade International (formerly FLO), and its decision to develop separate U.S. standards that permit certification of plantation-produced coffee, cocoa, and other crops, has thrown the meaning of the U.S. fair trade label into question. The recent appearance of a new certification—The Institute for Marketecology (IMO) “Fair For Life” label—has made the panorama even more complex. These developments follow a decade of struggles within the fair trade movement over the nature of its relationship to large (often transnational) corporate firms, some of which have contributed to the dramatic growth of fair trade sales.


At the time of publication Daniel Jaffee was affiliated with Washington State University

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