Exercises on Fair Trade


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

I will start now applying some of the economic theory I talked about in previous post, but before, maybe you are ready to start doing some research on Fair Trade, before I start babbling about it.

As early as 1867, Karl Marx wrote in Das Kapital about the exploitation of the bourgeoisie over the workers. R. Janssen (1997) wrote about the feasibility of fair trade as an alternative way of trading. Ian Hudson and Mark Hudson (2003) wrote about the need for consumers and producers to know each other and the importance of fair trade as a mean to recognize that a product has certain impact on the way its produced that the merely price on the shelves.

R. Mendoza (2000) and D. C. Zehner analysed the economies of fair trade and followed the route of the fair trade primes, being the first that proposed that fair trade is an inefficient subsidy transfer. Paul Rice has written a series of articles promoting fair trade from the humanitarian side, but since he is chair of Fair Trade USA his work is in favour and lacks critic on the system. Francisco van der Hoff has make contributions on the rules of pricing a fair trade produce, especially coffee.

James Bovard (1991) has called fair trade a myth and declares that it’s a barrier for commerce and a subsidy from the rich countries to the poor, while analysing the legal system of trade, barriers and tariff that rule the world. Brink Lindsey (2004) makes an analysis on how the international price of produce is affected by efficiency in some countries and propose that low prices are result of natural market rules and not clash of classes. Ken Peattie (2001) writes about the green consumer and cast a light on the shades of marketing for the social and ecological conscious.

If you are interested in the Academia, these lectures are very recommended and post both views of the same problem: the poverty and ways to correct the imbalance.May we all benefit from their research.


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