Talk:Fair trade

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Former good article Fair trade was one of the Social sciences and society good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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September 5, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
October 14, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
July 4, 2008 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Fair trade:
  • Rewrite Key fair trade principles in prose format.
  • Write short section on the worldshop movement and link to worldshop page
  • Write short section on Alternative trading organizations and link to ATO page
  • Create a new page History of fair trade and move the history section there (getting too long)
  • Write a short summary of the fair trade history and link to new History of fair trade page
  • Expand the section: Comparison with conventional trade
Priority 1 (top)

Fair Trade Definition[edit]

The Fair Trade definition reference was not valid anymore. I took the European Fair Trade Association link the original FINE Definition.--UZH.WIKI (talk) 12:04, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

How fair is Fairtrade?[edit]

Hello, what do you think about this:

--Featured 15:29, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Check citations[edit]

It seems to me that many citations here are either unusually weak or somewhat misconstrued. For example, the sentence "The effectiveness of Fairtrade is questionable; workers on Fairtrade farms have a lower standard of living than on similar farms outside the Fairtrade system." carries a citation to this Economist article which does include that criticism, but is noted by the vast majority of commenters to be a misconstrual of the original report. I believe that many of the citations in this meandering article (both for and against) are likely to contain these subtle issues. Chyluchicago (talk) 15:41, 13 October 2014 (UTC)


This article reads like a Fair Trade webpage. Even the "criticisms" are strategically placed to be promptly refuted in the pro-Fair Trade manner and tone of the whole. Indeed, less than half the text of the "Criticisms" section is spent discussing the criticisms of Fair Trade - the bulk is spent on rebuttals to those criticisms. -PM —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:00, 13 May 2007 (UTC).

The criticism section of this article is sad. The article as a whole portrays ignorance of even fundamental economic principles. Unless the artificially high prices of fair trade can be maintained forever, they will eventually lead to magnified economic collapse of whatever is supported by the prices in the first place. I'm not questioning the motives of those who promote it, but to say that there is a rational economic argument to be made for fair trade is bunk. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:59, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I just came in to take a look at this article, and I actually agree with FT, but this is ridiculous. The whole article is one big pro-fair trade bonanza. The criticisms section is tiny and, as you point out, all economic criticisms are immediately refuted. Meanwhile, the "mainstreaming" criticism that comes from the left and suggests fair trade is not doing enough is left as a standing point. This article has a lot of interesting information, but NPOV it most certainly is not. 19:05, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
Partially disagree. I didn't read every bit ... but scanning down the page I came across this section:

Singleton's comments echo the main criticisms of Fair Trade, that "it also leads fair trade producers to increase production." While benefiting a number of Fair Trade producers over the short run, fair trade critics worry about the impact on long run development and economic growth. The reason coffee prices are so low on the world markets is that there is too much production.[39] By encouraging even more supply of coffee, fair trade makes the world price fall further.[39] This makes the vast majority of coffee producers worse off. It also focuses attention away from dealing with the real, long term solution to this problem, while giving retailers more money than the farmer sees.[39] Though the adjustment progress is difficult, this creative destruction is a core component of economic growth.[citation needed] By stopping price signals, fair trade may encourage inefficient activities that will not lift the world's poor out of poverty over the long run.[39]

  • (first bold section) is a stronger against FT than the article used to support it, for example the article says: "Mr Bretman of FLO International disagrees. In practice, he says, farmers cannot afford to diversify out of coffee when the price falls. Fairtrade producers can use the premiums they receive to make the necessary investments to diversify into other crops. But surely the price guarantee actually reduces the incentive to diversify?" as a response to Tim Harfords assertion (in a book called “The Undercover Economist” (2005)) that fairtrade lowers global prices. [me] In any case it's capitalist greed that lowers global prices, [global coffee] companies could own plantations and simply choose to pay workers a living wage rather than paying the lowest possible price on a global market.
  • (second bold section) doesn't say anything. It's not factual and probably too speculative for Wikipedia? Pbhj 22:01, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree, this article is horribly biased. Why are the arguments for Free Trade presented without counter argument, yet the arguments against Free Trade are? Wikipedia seems to be becoming less and less objective.

Some of the peopel who contribute to this page have kept the criticism at bay, whereas at the same time they ahve insisted that teh introduction to the Rainforest Alliance does contain criticism as well as an unfavourable comparison to Fairtrade. How fair is that? definitely biased. Mtl1969 10:12, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

We all devote some time on Wikipedia trying to bring in our own perspective and improve the articles here. As I said before, all the contributions I've made on the RA page were made in good faith and I truly believe make the article more interesting and complete. As for the fair trade page, it has significant criticism sections and several links to the fair trade debate page, which discusses in detail each of the most common criticism of fair trade. And who are you to criticize my impartiality, all your contributions have been to Unilever-related articles and topics... isn't it strange you've started noticing fair trade on wikipedia just when Unilever chose cheaper RA certification over fair trade a couple of weeks ago? Vincentl 11:30, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Vincent1, i did not name any user in particular- so i cannot have been critisising your impartiality. If you feel that I am addressing you, that says more about how you see yourself. Also, I cannot see any criticism in the Fairtrade certification page(one word, not 'Fair Trade') introduction, which is the one i was referring to. i have refrained from making edits in any of the pages as i prefer to reach consensus first on the discussion page- no need to get offended. Also, if you look at my contributions you will see that your allegations that i only contribute to Unilever articles are simply not trueMtl1969 13:46, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Done. I just added criticism sections on the Fairtrade page (including the lead). In the future, please assume good faith (WP:GF) and instead of bashing the work of editors, please try to make constructive comments and suggestions. Thank you Vincentl 15:17, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Vincent1, i agree with your change, but also with your comment to 'please assume good faith (WP:GF) and instead of bashing the work of editors, please try to make constructive comments and suggestions.' which i found lacking in your earlier comments today. Mtl1969 16:11, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

In order to properly address and discuss this I added a NPOV tag 15:08, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I disagree now, the balance has gone too far the other way, where the majority of the article is criticism! Leanne maybe (talk) 11:19, 12 September 2012 (UTC)leanne_maybe

I would have to agree with leanne_maybe. I am pro-FT, but this page is not the place for this debate. The article devotes too much space to criticism, giving the impression that FT is enormously widely criticised, which I don't believe is fair. It reads like someone's anti-FT PhD thesis. This section should be trimmed down and put into context. 9:57, 19 September 2012 Spuddddddd — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Missing edits[edit]

I've noticed that some of the older edits in this talk section are no longer around, and they havent been archived. I'm not sure exactly how to create archives, but I do know that a large portion of this talk section was deleted by Vincentl on the 6th of October 2006. I'm going to put a request out there for someone who knows what they're doing to create an archive of old/deleted discussions.

Dupz 10:50, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Please do create an archive if you know how, I didn't know that feature existed. I just deleted the edits because this page was getting way too long and some cleaning was desperately needed. Vincentl 10:59, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Created 2 there may be an over lap bet better than it missing. --Nate 12:24, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Effects of a Price Floor graph[edit]

Maybe I'm just dense, but I can't make heads or tails of the "Effects of a Price Floor" graph. Is there any way to make that graph easier to understand? Kaldari 19:34, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, I finally figured it out: The blue line is demand, the red line is supply, and the green line is the price floor (although none of them are labeled). Kaldari 19:40, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm an economics major who was confused by that graph, so I changed it. Topher0128 16:46, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it should be changed to make sure the reader knows who the suppliers and who the consumers are. At first I read it as if the consumers were the end consumers (chocolate eaters) -- (talk) 23:47, 14 December 2009 (UTC)


This article is inconsistent as to its use of British English or American English. As there is no strong tie to any one English speaking nation, this article should use the variety used by the first significant contributor, which is this case was American English. Is there any compelling reason to switch over to British English, before I go through and change a bunch of words? Natalie 18:20, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Only comment would be how, well known is free trade in America? Other wise (while it makes me wince every time I see some spellings) I'd have to agree --Nate 19:41, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm guessing you mean how well is fair trade known in America, since we know free trade backwards, forwards, and upside down. :) It's hard to make a comparison since I haven't ever lived in another country, so I don't know how well known fair trade is in other countries, but it is certainly known here. For example, megacorporation Starbucks made a highly publicized switch to fair trade coffee a few years back. While buying fair trade may be more popular in Europe, the concept does not have a tie to any one specific country. I understand the wincing as I'm a nut for consistency - seeing "labour" and "organization" in the same sentence makes me wince. Natalie 20:22, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why it's a problem and I actually like to see different spellings in the same article-- it's a sign of the collaborative nature of Wikipedia.---Gloriamarie 08:20, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

It should be in British English, It's not our fault the Americans borrowed a language they can neither spell or understand the grammer of. Samantha.pia (talk) 10:42, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha, the comment above this is absolutely hilarious. In a comment chastising poor grammAr(I have intentionally emphasized the second A) and spelling it is best not to: a) misspell the word grammar; b) use an improper neither/or combination instead of the correct neither/nor; c)improperly end a sentence with a preposition; d)capitalize the word "It's" when it does not begin a sentence; e)use a comma in a place where a semicolon or period should have been used. As to the question of how well-known the term "Fair Trade" is in the United States, in the city in which I live there is actually a chain of coffee stores/cafes named "FairTrade Coffee"; the concept is well-known in the United States. (talk) 20:47, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
A few points which you might like to consider:
  • We're all vulnerable to Muphry's law. Your reply has lots of errors.
  • You're still in the bottom half of the hierarchy of argument.
  • You're replying to a comment made over a year ago. Who cares?
It's probably better to stick to discussing the substance of the article. bobrayner (talk) 21:01, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
My reply has a lot of errors? Why don't you point them out for me. (talk) 23:47, 20 June 2012 (UTC)[edit]

I've been reading "The Undercover Economist" by Tim Harford and he has an interesting comment on Fair Trade the way some companies use it. What would you think of something like:

Fair trade can also have substantial benefits for retailers, in some cases even more benefit that it has for the people it's intended to help. In The Undercover Economist, Tim Harford explains that retailers often try to maximize profits by charging different customers different amounts depending on their willingness to pay. The difficulty is identifying customers who will pay more without them realizing it. He uses the example of a coffee shop that charged more for "fair trade" coffee. Customers who could and would pay more, would self-select to pay the premium price. Harford discovered that the additional charge per cup far exceeded the additional amount that went to the coffee farmers. He notes that the fair trade coffee did substantially increase farmers' income, but 90% of the additional money customers paid went to the coffee retailer.

The Book is: The Undercover Economist Tim Harford 2006 Little Brown ISBN 978-0-349-11985-5 Harford writes the Dear Economist column for the Financial Times (Jpommer 20:51, 23 July 2007 (UTC))

Although I think it's a good observation, I disagree with the add: there have been a number of studies on fair trade pricing in the past years and although it is true disproportionate retailer profit margins do occur in non-competitive frameworks (i.e. new markets), in mature markets, competition drives back these margins to normal levels. In the UK for example, the Fairtrade Foundation has conducted studies in 2005 that concluded that the majority of retailers do not increase their profit margins on fair trade products, "for fear of losing market share" in the growing market. A similar study was also conducted in Quebec by Equiterre, an environmental and consumer-rights NGO, and also came to the same conclusion (the study is available here [1]).
Quite the opposite, there are actually instances of retailers reducing their profit margins in an effort to boost sales and improve their corporate image: in December 2006, British retailer Sainsbury's announced for example it would offer from now on only Fairtrade bananas - and this was achieved without any increase in the cost paid by consumers.
Does Tim Harford back his claims with numbers? If not, do you think you could ask him where he got these assumptions from? Vincentl 22:40, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Please be careful when using NPOV tags: drive-by tagging is not permitted on WP: The editor who adds the tag must address the issues on the talk page, pointing to specific issues that are actionable within the content policies, namely Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. Simply being of the opinion that a page is not neutral is not sufficient to justify the addition of the tag. Tags should be added as a last resort.
Please respond to my earlier comments and let's engage in a constructive discussion here before flagging the entire page. Thank you. Vincentl 20:24, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
The "Benefits" and "Criticism" sections are noticeably out of wack: the Criticism section is met with arguments of supporters against those criticisms, but critics do not get to answer the proponents in the Benefits section in return. Tim Harford is a reliable source, brings up an interesting point, and his work should be cited in the article; it is not for Wikipedia editors to conduct original research and decide whether his sources or methods are up to snuff, but simply to write a balanced article including them. Both sides of that issue should be discussed. Where are the sources for all the assertions made above about Sainsbury's?--Gloriamarie 08:41, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Hello Gloriamarie. Thanks for the fixes on the page! To answer your question, the sources for the assertions about Sainsury's are here [2] and here [3]. Also do check out the Equiterre study [4], it has very interesting data about Fair trade pricing, pretty much contradicting all the assertions made by Tim Harford. I personally think it is misleading to readers to post information about assertions that are not backed up by any evidence whatsoever. WP says:
"Articles should rely on reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Sources should be appropriate to the claims made: exceptional claims require exceptional sources. All articles must adhere to Wikipedia's neutrality policy, fairly representing all majority and significant-minority viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in rough proportion to the prominence of each view.[4]
In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers. As a rule of thumb, the greater the degree of scrutiny involved in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the evidence and arguments of a particular work, the more reliable it is.
I do not feel like Tim Hardfort's assertions can be trusted as reliable (esp. since I have information proving the contrary), unless he has any particular info/study to back up his claims...Vincentl 14:54, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

If you have such information, post it here. Quite frankly I doubt if either Tim Hardfort or you have information that "proves" anything. What it more likely does is create additional evidence in favor of your position. (talk) 12:22, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Health of workers and other social aspects[edit]

One of the most convincing arguments for Fairtrade (I'm not sure about it's less well defined cousin "Fair_Trade") is the requirements concerning health and safety of the workers. These include requirements concerning child labour (children can't work if it takes them away from educational prospects), pregnant workers, use of safety equipment when working with pesticides, etc., see eg [[5]]. Very little of these humanitarian benefits has been made in the article which instead focuses on purely financial aspects. So, maybe workers aren't getting all the extra you pay for fair trade bananas - but they also (providing the certification authority is working properly) aren't being sprayed with pesticides whilst they work just because clearing the fields is a bit of a time waster. Also workers have protected rights to be unionised and to use collective bargaining agreements. Other benefits to the producers concerning longer term agreements which allow proper planning are also down played. Any thoughts on this? Pbhj 22:01, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Fair Trade in America[edit]

   * 7.1 European politics
   * 7.2 French politics
   * 7.3 British politics
   * 7.4 Italian politics
   * 7.5 Belgian politics

What about America? Well apparently since nobody has defined it in American terms, I am going to take a shot at it.

Fair Trade simply means Free Trade except in cases where the wage disparity between the US and another foreign country is so great, then tariffs be used to mitigate outsourcing. Disparities also can include retirement benefits, health care insurance, child labor laws, overtime laws, or any other type of employee benefit a civilized society would create in order benefit the "general welfare of the people." In addition fair traders embrace Thomas Jefferson's concept of reciprocity:

"The following principles, being founded in reciprocity, appear perfectly just, and to offer no cause of complaint to any nation:
   * 1.Where a nation imposes high duties on our productions, or prohibits them altogether, it may be proper for us to do the same by theirs; first burdening or excluding those productions which they bring here, in competition with our own of the same kind; selecting next, such manufactures as we take from them in greatest quantity, and which, at the same time, we could the soonest furnish to ourselves, or obtain from other countries; imposing on them duties lighter at first, but heavier and heavier afterwards, as other channels of supply open. Such duties having the effect of indirect encouragement to domestic manufactures of the same kind, may induce the manufacturer to come himself into these States, where cheaper subsistence, equal laws, and a vent of his wares, free of duty, may ensure him the highest profits from his skill and industry. And here, it would be in the power of the State governments to co-operate essentially, by opening the resources of encouragement which are under their control, extending them liberally to artists in those particular branches of manufacture for which their soil, climate, population and other circumstances have matured them, and fostering the precious efforts and progress of household manufacture, by some patronage suited to the nature of its objects, guided by the local informations they possess, and guarded against abuse by their presence and attentions. The oppressions on our agriculture, in foreign ports, would thus be made the occasion of relieving it from a dependence on the councils and conduct of others, and of promoting arts, manufactures and population at home.
   * 2.Where a nation refuses permission to our merchants and factors to reside within certain parts of their dominions, we may, if it should be thought expedient, refuse residence to theirs in any and every part of ours, or modify their transactions.
   * 3.Where a nation refuses to receive in our vessels any productions but our own, we may refuse to receive, in theirs, any but their own productions. The first and second clauses of the bill reported by the committee, are well formed to effect this object.
   * 4.Where a nation refuses to consider any vessel as ours which has not been built within our territories, we should refuse to consider as theirs, any vessel not built within their territories.
   * 5.Where a nation refuses to our vessels the carriage even of our own productions, to certain countries under their domination, we might refuse to theirs of every description, the carriage of the same productions to the same countries. But as justice and good neighborhood would dictate that those who have no part in imposing the restriction on us, should not be the victims of measures adopted to defeat its effect, it may be proper to confine the restrictions to vessels owned or navigated by any subjects of the same dominant power, other than the inhabitants of the country to which the said productions are to be carried. And to prevent all inconvenience to the said inhabitants, and to our own, by too sudden a check on the means of transportation, we may continue to admit the vessels marked for future exclusion, on an advanced tonnage, and for such length of time only, as may be supposed necessary to provide against that inconvenience."

There is nothing unAmerican about embracing tariffs, seeing that the US federal government ran entirely on tariffs when the founding fathers ran the country. In fact some (me) would argue free-traders are unAmerican, backstabbing, treacherous. (talk) 12:12, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I suggest making the changes you suggest to the Trade justice article - fair trade here refers to the consumer movement that promotes certified and non-certified goods from developing countries (such as handcrafts or coffee for example bearing the fair trade certification mark). The fair trade in politics section describes government initiatives in the regulation of the fair trade consumer market... unfortunately in the US there has not been any such initiative as of now, hence no section on the US. I hope that helps... Vincentl (talk) 12:31, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
"The mostly widely referred to demand of trade justice campaigners is often access to the markets of rich countries by developing countries. When developing countries export to developed country markets" This is absolutely not what fair-traders in America are proposing. That is similar to foreign aid. (talk) 10:32, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Free traders are "unAmerican, backstabbing and treacherous"? Wow, good thing the second commenter in this section doesn't like to throw around wild generalizations. Free trade has proven to be far more equitable than supposed "Fair Trade", because, as with so many other "social justice" projects, the benefits are almost never felt by the people who are supposed to benefit the most. (talk) 20:46, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Automatic addition of "class=GA"[edit]

A bot has added class=GA to the WikiProject banners on this page, as it's listed as a good article. If you see a mistake, please revert, and leave a note on the bot's talk page. Thanks, BOT Giggabot (talk) 05:35, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Does fair trade promotes local markets ?[edit]

I was reading some info about fair trade, concept variations on a folder about it.

It seams that that some people also see fartrade as a way of trade in which local resources are prefered. In simple it is seen as fartrade to grow apples for example in the neterherlands and then sell them too in the neterlands. In contrast it would be selling those same apples in germany france of america. The wrong thing about that, is that distribution is putting polution in the environment, a bad thing. So far trade could be also trading with a limited amount of distribution, therby promoting :

. promoting less distribution related polution . promoting local products . promoting local farmers . promoting local markets . and promoting local economoy . also it should limit export dumps (dumping dutch apples in kenia , where it will destruct apple economy/farmers markets).

In this view its also wrong to buy in the netherlands apple juice from Africa. I'm not sure this folder is right about it, but i was supriced to have bought apple juice made in Africa. Altough it does support their economy a bit, as i payed a bit more for it as well, it's not a good use of farming resources. Since applejuise can be made in my own country as well, and be distributed with less polution. It would have been better if that apple juice was sold in Africa itself. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 14:04, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Proper noun[edit]

"Fair Trade" is a proper noun, a name, of a particular movement. As such, it should not be listed as "fair trade", "Fair trade" or any other reference, as that confuses the issue. - Denimadept (talk) 19:52, 14 March 2008 (UTC)


Anyone want to do some more research on this subject? The Free trade and market failure section is grasping at straws. No free market economist I've met has ever required perfect conditions for any market to work properly. Nor has ANY economist ever claimed that fair trade will be without its own market failures. At anyrate it is unfair to make use strawman reasoning for a wiki article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Mistaken idea of Fair section[edit]

Can soemoen help me with this? It is important and different. Larklight (talk) 19:58, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


I think it may be useful to have more than just the FINE definition of fair trade, as that seem to be more appropriate as a definition of Fairtrade.

Also, under the "Key fair trade principles" section, it states that "Fair trade advocates generally support the following principles and practices in trading relationships". I would suggest that it would be more accurate if it was changed, to say something like "Fair trade advocates generally support one or more of the following principles and practices in trading relationships" or "Fair trade organisations displaying the FTO mark support the following principles and practices in trading relationships".

AS several peope have said before the criticism section does seem to be balanced rather in favour of a rebuttal, of the rather shorter, criticism. As there is a link to the fair trade debate article, the response sub-section seems rather out of place and i would suggest removing it. In light of the rest of the article, it does seem to violate NPOV as it is, in my view. Jihmiller (talk) 14:05, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Why does "fair trade impact studies" section read like someone's report?[edit]

Or a research paper? It just doesn't sound correct for an encyclopedia... ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 02:05, 26 May 2008 (UTC) True. Basically because virtually no impact studies that meet the standards of the Aid Agencies have been done.

I have inserted evidence from the literature, the only evidence on what proportion of the extra paid by consumers reaches experts. It will take an enormous amount of research to show that these figures are not typical. I have also produced evidence on what proportion actually gets to the consumer: mostly studies gloss over this. And evidence on whether or not Fairtrade farmers get higher prices.AidWorker (talk) 13:58, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

WENSDAY 4th 2008[edit]

FAIR TRADE —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

GA Sweeps Review: On Hold[edit]

As part of the WikiProject Good Articles, we're doing sweeps to go over all of the current GAs and see if they still meet the GA criteria. I'm specifically going over all of the "Culture and Society" articles. I believe the article currently meets the majority of the criteria and should remain listed as a Good article. However, in reviewing the article, I have found there are some issues that need to be addressed. I have made minor corrections and have included several points below that need to be addressed for the article to remain a GA. Please address them within seven days and the article will maintain its GA status. If progress is being made and issues are addressed, the article will remain listed as a Good article. Otherwise, it may be delisted. If improved after it has been delisted, it may be nominated at WP:GAN. If you disagree with any of the issues, leave a comment after the specific issue and I'll be happy to discuss/agree with you. To keep tabs on your progress so far, either strike through the completed tasks or put checks next to them.

Needs inline citations:

  1. "However, in the subsequent supply chain, Fair Trade products are traded and marketed through two distinct but complementary channels:"
  2. "It regularly inspects and certifies producer organizations in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America."
  3. "IFAT has nearly 300 member organizations in over 60 countries."
  4. "The initiative aimed at bringing the principles of fair trade to the retail sector by selling almost exclusively goods produced under fair trade terms in “underdeveloped regions”."
  5. "Thousands of volunteers sold coffee from Angola and Nicaragua in Worldshops, in the back of churches, from their homes and from stands in public places, using the products as a vehicle to deliver their message: give disadvantaged producers in developing countries a fair chance on the world’s market, and support their self-determined sustainable development."
  6. "Many then believed it was the movement's responsibility to address the issue and to find innovative remedies to react to the ongoing crisis in the industry."
  7. "FLO is an umbrella organization whose mission is to set the Fairtrade standards, support, inspect and certify disadvantaged producers, and harmonize the Fairtrade message across the movement."
  8. "These principles include adherence to ILO agreements such as those banning child and slave labour, guaranteeing a safe workplace and the right to unionise, adherence to the United Nations charter of human rights, a fair price that covers the cost of production and facilitates social development, and protection and conservation of the environment."
  9. "The Fairtrade certification system also promotes long-term business relationships between buyers and sellers, crop prefinancing and greater transparency throughout the supply chain and more."
  10. "The FTO Mark gave for the first time all Fair Trade Organizations (including handcrafts producers) definable recognition amongst consumers, existing and new business partners, governments and donors."
  11. "According to the European Commission, “the abandonment of international intervention policies at the end of the 1980s and the commodity market reforms of the 1990s in the developing countries left the commodity sectors, and in particular small producers, largely to themselves in their struggle with the demands of the markets”. Today, “producers… live an unpredictable existence because the prices for a wide range of commodities are very volatile and in addition follow a declining long-term trend”." Is the first quote also from the second source? If not, add another inline citation for this quote.
  12. "Research has shown that those who suffer most from declines in commodity prices are the rural poor — i.e. the majority of people living in developing countries." This has been tagged since April 2008.
  13. "Fair trade supporters believe current market prices do not properly reflect the true costs associated with production; they believe only a well-managed stable minimum price system can cover environmental and social production costs."
  14. "Lindsey's comments echo the main criticisms of Fair Trade, claiming that it "leads fair trade producers to increase production.""

Other issues:

  1. The information in "Key fair trade principles" is copied nearly word for word from the source. This section needs to be rewritten to put the information in your own words.
  2. The two statements in the "Approaches to Fair Trade" section need to be expanded on as single sentences shouldn't stand alone. Either expand on the statements or incorporate them into another paragraph. Fix the several other occurrences within the article.
  3. "The alternative trade movement blossomed, if not in sales, then at least in terms of dozens of ATOs being established on both sides of the Atlantic, of scores of Worldshops being set up, and of well-organized actions and campaigns attacking exploitation and foreign domination, and promoting the ideals of Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere and the Nicaraguan Sandinistas: the right to independence and self-determination, to equitable access to the world’s markets and consumers." This sentence would benefit from being split into two sentences.
  4. Image:Fairtrade.png, Image:TransFair.gif, & Image:Ftomark.jpg all need a fair use rationale on the image's page for use in this article.
  5. For the "Fair trade impact studies" section, include the author and year of the studies.
  6. In the "European Union" section, merge some of the smaller paragraphs together.
  7. "In January 2008, lawmakers proposed possible definitions and three proposals were debated. A consensus on a common definition, however, has not yet been reached." Has consensus been reached yet? Also, the citation link is dead, find another if possible.
  8. "However, its adoption is still pending as the efforts were stalled by the 2008 Italian political crisis." Same as above, has the adoption been reached yet?
  9. "In June 2007, a parliamentary committee published the report Fair Trade and Development..." Convert the external link to an inline citation and place it after both of the quotes used in the paragraph. Also source "The committee report examined several ethical trading schemes and concluded that fair trade was "gold standard in terms of trading relations with producers"."
  10. If possible, see if there are any relevant external links that can be added to the article for readers to pursue after reading the article.

This article covers the topic well and if the above issues are addressed, I believe the article can remain a GA. I will leave the article on hold for seven days, but if progress is being made and an extension is needed, one may be given. I will leave messages on the talk pages of the main contributors to the article along with the related WikiProjects so that the workload can be shared. If you have any questions, let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Happy editing! --Nehrams2020 (talk) 20:48, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

GA Sweeps Review: Failed[edit]

Unfortunately, since none of the issues I raised were addressed, I have regrettably delisted the article according to the requirements of the GA criteria. If the issues are fixed, consider renominating the article at WP:GAN. With a little work, it should have no problems getting back up to GA status. If you disagree with this review, you can seek an alternate opinion at Good article reassessment. If you have any questions let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I have updated the article history to reflect this review. Happy editing! --Nehrams2020 (talk) 22:22, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Definition of Fair Trade is north hemisphere-centric[edit]

The current wiki "Definition" of "Fair Trade" refers in part to "...marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South..." (and is cited from the European Fair Trade Association website 2006).

The term "the south" does not seem acceptable for at least two reasons. 1. it is north-hemisphere centric 2. It is so vague as to be next to useless.

I would move that "especially in the South" be either removed entirely from the definition or changed to "especially in developing countries" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:32, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

The developing/developed dichotomy has been largely ditched in "development" scholarship in favor of viewing our global inequality as a North/South issue. The North/South dichotomy is less problematic than developed/developing. When looking at a country like Canada, we assume that it is "Developed", but, based on what standard? The answer is ambiguous. I encourage you to look into development studies scholarship and read about the widespread movement from the use of developed/developing terms to the use of Global North/Global South. I would argue that North/South are not at all vague, and are well supported and published, and the developed/developing terms are becoming more antiquated. You'd be hard pressed to find a respected development scholar still using the developed/developing dichotomy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:06, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

The UN still uses developing / developed.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:55, 26 December 2009 (UTC)


I find it odd that the word protectionism doesn't appear on this page. Kansaikiwi (talk) 18:23, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

See Fair trade (disambiguation). Fair Trade described here has nothing to do with protectionism: it is rather a market-driven development scheme.Vincentl (talk) 18:45, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Price distortion argument[edit]

I removed from "Criticism" the response attributed to the Fairtrade Foundation, which showed a lack of understanding of economic principles. According to standard microeconomic theory, price floors (not just price fixing) create excess supply. The other two counterarguments are economically sound.

~ GreatBigCircles (talk) 06:11, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

I have removed this section Rather they argue that Fair Trade is about committing to continuous efforts to shorten the supply chains, cutting out the middle men.[1] They also argue that consumers should not be satisfied by just the Fairtrade mark but instead educate themselves on issues of Trade Justice if a real difference is to be made.[2]. on the grounds that

a) everyone, but everyone, wants cheaper supply chains,

b) middlemen are economic producers: if you cut them out the produce stays on the farm, which nobody wants. Standard economics. It is quite possible to have cheaper, more efficient chains with private traders. And certainly many, small private traders often outcompete monolithic traders, to the benefit of farmers.

c)Those of us who support Trade Justice object to attempts to conflate it with the very different system of Fairtrade - there is virtually no overlap. AidWorker (talk) 13:53, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I have removed this section, on the grounds that it is neither for nor against Fairtrade: In the 1990s the value of exported coffee was $11 billion and the retail value was $30 billion, while in 2007 the value of exported coffee was $5.5 billion and the retail value was $70 billion.[3] These numbers are however misleading in assessing Fair Trade considering only 3.3 percent of coffee sold in the United States - the world's largest market for Fair Trade certified products - in 2006 was certified fair trade.[4] AidWorker (talk) 14:06, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Fairtrade falls in the long established tradition of Agricultural Economics and Marketing, which covers everything from production to the supermarket shelf. It has an enormous mass of theory and practical experience to draw from. I insert Griffiths' criticisms.AidWorker (talk) 13:53, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Fair trade - Ekopedia[edit]

I suggest adding the following external link.

-- Wavelength (talk) 06:04, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

General Problems with Values as Facts[edit]

I put some of this up already on the Fairtrade Certification talk page, but I think it is also important to mention here.

I've noticed that many of these sorts of articles use words like "decent", "fair", and so on in statements of fact. This would require that there be some factual and encyclopedic standard of these things. Because I know of no such standards and I do not think that any are forthcoming, I would highly recommend that all uses of value-laden terminology be either removed or framed in a context such that it shows that those values are not "the correct values".

This will, of course, be difficult because Fairtrade is all about values. But those valued need to be clearly framed as someone or the other's values as opposed to universal truth. I have marked a few items as "vague" or otherwise where I thought that there were these sorts of problems.

Further, I do not think that it is in proper form to say "Person or group X says..." and then just retain the same value-loaded language.

I think it would be good if we went over the whole article or at least the most problematic sections of it and try and remove most of the value claims made by the article.

--Nogburt (talk) 23:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

After looking over the article several times I have found that I a lot of the language seems clearly un-neutral. So much of it is highly value laden that I think that it is proper that the article be flagged for it. Unless there is some compelling reason why it shouldn't be flagged, I'll probably flag it in the next couple of days for neutrality issues.
--Nogburt (talk) 07:20, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

I went ahead and flagged the article for the primary POV issue I thought it had. I must say that much of the article is pretty good. And a lot of the POV issues that I see here are of the mild sort that I usually see in articles about animals where it so happens the the most enthusiastic persons about the animal tend to write the article about it. However, whereas tigers are not a very debated topic, fair trade does create some contention. And there are a few points where there are stronger POV issues.
One of my other major POV concerns is the economic aspect of fair trade. There seems to be a disproportionate amount of article dedicated to expounding on fair trade's high ends and not enough dealing with whether or not those ends can actually be achieved. I have some "expert knowledge" (for whatever it's worth) in economics, but I have not looked extensively into fair trade and I am not in a place where I can say that one side or the other is right in the "fair trade debate". But again, regardless of which side is or isn't actually correct, it is not in my mind encyclopedic to spend so much time dealing with the high goals of fair trade without going into whether or not it achieves its ends. Without doing so, listing off the ends amounts to a tacit agreement with them. And this, as I see it, is a notable POV problem.
And further, it does not seem wholly acceptable to move all of these issues into a separate debate/criticism section as this often seems to become a form of tacit agreement with one side or the other.
--Nogburt (talk) 00:21, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Hello Nogburt, Thanks for your thoughts on the article. I disagree however with your decision to flag. I find that a bit extreme considering the current state of the article. What exactly do you not think is balanced or neutral enough? There is a Criticism section where the most contentious issues are addressed. You also have other sections (Justifications for FT) where most arguments in favor are also addressed... What else could be done? Can you please list any suggestions so that perhaps we can do something about it? If you don't mind, I'll unflag the article for now and try to address the issues that you mention within a week, ok?
I'm a bit worried when I read your thoughts on the economics of Fair Trade. I assume what you mean is some kind of analysis with regards to the Fair Trade minimum price (see graph in criticism section). My concern is that too much emphasis (including in this article) is currently put on the Fair Trade minimum price, while Fair Trade is much more: FT organizations offer technical assistance, prefinancing, long-term trading relations, just to name a few, to producer partners. These conditions allow producers to develop their own businesses, improve product quality and this way obtain better prices (far above the FT minimum price). While the Fair Trade minimum price is a useful support for producers - especially in periods of commodity crises - I don't think it should be used to judge Fair Trade's overall performance or impact. Instead of focusing on the FT minimum price, why not look at the (hundreds) of impact studies, listed on the article page or here. Please let me know your thoughts, thanks. Vincentl (talk) 02:47, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
The whole article structure is a bit problematic, but it was always a bit too daunting for me to do anything about it. In general there should also be more detail on the relationship between FT orgs and producers, some of the points you mention (need sources though). And the emphasis on minimum price is because the minimum price is what most upsets the conservative "I've just done economics 101" brigade. More detail on other issues would help. Rd232 talk 12:21, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

It's fine with me if the article is unflagged as long as the issue gets addressed over the long term. Actually my concerns were not primarily about the minimum price. The other issues you mention which seem to be important pillars of fair trade are were a lot of my concerns lie. I have taken the time to read a few of the impact studies. I've actually been rather impressed with most of them, even though they tend to come from organizations which clearly have a stake in one answer being right. It is problematic that most of the impact studies tend to be from fair trade affiliated groups.
A lot of my concerns are really just that this article has what I'd call an "animal article" tone. In this I mean that the article seems to be written by an enthusiast on the topic. Enthusiasm isn't bad, but articles shouldn't be about how awesome their subjects are. This will probably be the most difficult issue to address, because it is more subconscious and borderline bias than intentional. And fair trade is a bit more controversial than Tigers and thus the same enthusiasm becomes, in this context, more of a bias than a style issue.
Going back to the impact study issues, I noticed that some of them mentioned the possibility of creating a dependence which would actually prevent advancement. I think the article deals with this some.
And there is a little too much material which seems to be cited from Fairtrade promotional sources.
I'll try to formulate some more concrete instances of severe bias, but right now I think that it would be good to look into the subtle unconscious "animal article" issues.
--Nogburt (talk) 22:08, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

There are a great many objections to Fairtrade which are summarized in Griffiths 2009 [6]. Fairtrade is unwilling or unable to produce the information that would normally be provided by a state marketing board, for instance, to show what happens to the money and who benefits. Much of what is published in favour of Fairtrade is misleading. Fairtrade’s response to criticism is dishonest. (Fairtrade 2008, Harriet Lamb2008). There is evidence that many Fairtrade farmers get little or no benefit. The cooperative marketing system imposed is not one normally noted for its competence or its honesty. The system provides moral hazards, opportunities for corruption. We do not get the project monitoring and appraisal reports we would expect from aid projects. Even if Fairtrade does what it claims, the impact of this enormous expenditure of money and energy is less than is obtained from some very small marketing projects, one to three person months. This is fortunate, because, if it works as intended, Fairtrade pays farmers a significantly higher price than the world price, and reduces risk. There is a lot of evidence that farmers will respond by planting more. And there is a lot of evidence that a small increase in the quantity of coffee, say, will lead to a large fall in the world price. This means that a million or two Fairtrade farmers increasing their output will collapse the price that 24 million other coffee growers get. There are many ethical objections to Fairtrade. Unrelated to the above is the objection by a few people that anything that is not free trade is inefficient and harmful.

Some articles on Fairtrade In a review of research on Fair Trade, Laura Raynolds of Colorado State University found that ‘there is surprisingly little research that documents how individual producers, producer organizations, grower households and communities benefit.’ A fuller article covering 60 major concerns is to be found in Peter Griffiths, Why an Independent Investigation of Fairtrade is needed. 2009 [7] Peter Griffiths 'Why Fairtrade isn't fair" Prospect, August 2008.[] The official response of the Fairtrade Foundation to Peter Griffiths’ article is Harriet Lamb, Fairtrade is Fair, Prospect 2008. [8] Marc Sidwell, Unfair Trade, Adam Smith Institute, London 2008. The official Fairtrade Foundation response to Marc Sidwell's Unfair Trade. [9] Raynolds, Laura T. (2002) ‘Poverty alleviation through participation in Fair Trade Coffee Networks: existing research and critical issues. Philip Booth, The Economics of Fairtrade: a Christian perspective. Howley, (2006) ‘Absolution in Your Cup: the real meaning of Fairtrade coffee,’ Reason, March 2006 pp 41-48 Colleen Berndt, Is Fairtrade in Coffee Production Fair and Useful? – Evidence from Costa Rica and Guatemala and Implications for Policy. George Mason University. [now Colleen Haight].

Peter Griffiths 10 Mar 2009 (talk) 13:56, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I will try sometime soon to look into some of these more critical articles. I know that one of the problems I have looking at fair trade is that a lot actually depends on what the ends of Fairtrade are. For instance, Fairtrade is an extremely successful "premium brand". I do not think that this is difficult to figure out. But it does seem as though the movement's ends are much loftier, and those do deserve some additional looking into.
Generally the POV issues I am seeing are rather mild. But again, I have not read enough specifically on the issue to say much beyond that. And in this article's case, the more difficult POV issues to deal with are probably the more mild ones anyways.
--Nogburt (talk) 22:17, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Don't waste too much time with the suggested rightwing institutosphere junk - from what I've seen it is (as usual) long on rhetoric and light on research (and Griffith's contribution is badly written, overlong and repetitious - it's not even good rhetoric), being non-peer reviewed. Instead try
  • Bradley D. Parrish, Valerie A. Luzadis, William R. Bentley (2005), "What Tanzania’s Coffee Farmers Can Teach the World: A Performance-Based Look at the Fair Trade–Free Trade Debate", Sustainable Development 13, 177–189
Google the title and you should find a publicly accessible copy. Rd232 talk 02:38, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I have been busy for the past couple of weeks but I have now gotten around to reading some of the article over again. The first two sections (definition and key principles) are overly idealistic and unsubstantive; and they need to be flagged, removed, or rewritten.

I have read the Parrish article suggested above. I do have some (expert) experience in economics and most of my concerns are economic in nature. I'd like to note that the Parrish article, though quite informative, is not authored by economists or those with a great deal of economic knowledge despite the fact that it is an article on an economic subject. I have noticed that many of the articles cited by this Wikipedia article deal with economic issues but are not written by economists. I then read the Adam Smith Institute article suggested above, and I skimmed the George Mason stuff as well. Those things were also interesting. But the economists seemed, like the Parrish article folks, to be stepping out of their field more than they should have. They got into ethics and other things that economics doesn't directly deal with. And I don't know much about the Adam Smith Institute, but I know that George Mason, though a very reputable economics school, is a bit more "pro-market" than the norm.

I have come to a tentative conclusion on the whole "fair trade debate". Fair trade is a free trade proposal primarily promoted by non-economists and fringe economists who do not understand the term "free trade" and who for whatever reason do not find the term "free trade" tasteful. It further seems to me as though the economists that I have read on fair trade, at least as cited here, make more of it than it is and fall into making ethical and practical business claims when they are neither ethicists nor businessmen.

So in short: it seems to me as though the pro-fair-trade movement is overzealous in its economic claims and the economists are overzealous in their ethical and practical counter-claims. This conclusion of mine is not at all helping me find where this article ought to go. But I like neither extreme (fair trade is awesome, fair trade is dumb) and am unable to find truly "moderate" works on the subject. And obviously I cannot just toss in a bunch of my own findings.

--Nogburt (talk) 21:59, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

"Fair trade is a free trade proposal"? Even if you're mixing up "fair trade" (which involves some arguments about state intervention for counter-balancing dumping in international trade, say) and fairtrade (consumer-oriented certification on production processes), what do you mean? Rd232 talk 22:59, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
I did do a bit of research (disclosure: for an economics think tank) in to the nature of fair trade. Most of what I saw was a brand, some quality controls, some voluntary agreements amongst parties up and down the chain of production down to consumers. Nobody was levied into joining a producers organization. Long story short, my bosses begrudgingly accepted my lack of free market contentions with Fair Trade (as the FLO does it).
But you may be right, I could be confusing "fair trade" and "Fairtrade". Would you mind explaining the difference a bit?
--Nogburt (talk) 06:50, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Well the usage of "fair trade" as part of the free trade debate was always more common in the US and seems to have fallen out of favour a bit with the rise of Fairtrade (voluntary consumer certification). Basically it was the same basic idea that how things are produced matters; but it was much stronger in demanding that governments take action, and not just in the mostly agricultural goods Fairtrade covers, but in all sectors. As a result it had often a protectionist flavour; I recall it was a phrase used quite a bit in the mid-90s by unions arguing for Something To Be Done about China. This article gives a flavour of it. The main difference lies in whether action is voluntary or state-enforced (though in addition that other kind of "fair trade" was more about banning or taxing than certifying). Rd232 talk 13:11, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

In any case, the article's definitions and key principles sections really need to be honed onto facts (which can be the values of some particular group of individuals) and taken out of the realm of values presented as facts. The purpose of the article is not to promote its subject. Otherwise those sections need to be flagged. --Nogburt (talk) 07:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Go for it. WP:BOLD (and WP:EP). Rd232 talk 12:49, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

What is "Unfair" about the current system?[edit]

I read through this article for the purpose of educating myself on FairTrade and I got to the end and said to myself, "I still have absolutely no idea what exactly 'FairTrade' does." I read through the article once more in an effort to figure out why and concluded basically this: the article is full of vague 'objectives' and 'goals' of the FairTrade programs but almost completely lacks detail and specific examples of what their program does. I think that some specific examples would be extremely helpful in illustrating for an average user like me how FairTrade works. Perhaps a brief but specific discussion of the perceived problems/unfairness with the current system (or a link thereto), followed by how fairtrade specifically is working to alleviate those problems would be helpful. I have identified some goals from the guidelines section which either assert or imply problems with the current system but those problems are neither specifically explained or documented by this article or a linked to article. I have then followed them with questions for clarification about the nature of the existing problems which gave rise to these goals as well as the nature of the specific nature of the solutions being implemented by fairtrade. Goals and questions follow:

1.) increase market access for marginalized producers by eliminating middlemen
         - Why don't they have market access now?  Why are they marginalized?  Who are the middlemen?  How does fairtrade increase market access      (specifically)?
2.) higher wages than typically paid to producers in typical trading relationships
         - What are the typical wages compared to those paid by fairtrade?  What is a typical trading relationship like?  What is 'unfair' about the current wages? 
3.) greater financial stability [for the producers]
         - What is the nature of their current financial 'instability'?  What specific benefits does increased stability confer?
4.) improve their general well-being [the producers]
         -  Can you get any more vague than this?  Specifically, how does fair trade improve their well being?
5.) allow future investments [by the producers]
         -  Investments like? (I know crop diversification and environmental controls and increased efficiency are all mentioned in various parts of the article but perhaps this could be consolidated and elaborated on further?)
6.) information sharing and planning logistically
         -  How?  What sort of information?  What sort of logistic planning?
7.) producers develop knowledge, skills and resources to improve their lives
         -  What knowledge, skills, and resources specifically is fairtrade helping them develop?  How exactly do these skill improve their lives?

I don't mean to imply that there aren't good answers to these questions or even that some of them aren't partially answered in various parts of the article. Just that they aren't answered clearly and succinctly which makes it difficult to figure out what precisely the fairtrade movement is accomplishing or attempting to accomplish. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Buckfan328 (talkcontribs) 15:54, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Fair Trade Criticism[edit]

The world of trade and Economy still looks down on poor poeple and thinks sometimes that the rest of us are stupid.

- The equasion Big gain ---> More production ---> Lower prices ---> less gain is OKAY. Business is cyclical for everyone. At least these poor folks will pickup some benefits to allow them to change their lines of work and cover the basic needs. We are talking about people who do nothave enough food on the table or a shelter.

- Those poor artists and workers know some laws of the market and can figure out when it is good to stop or reduce production and when to move to new lines of business.

- Here is one of the principles we learn in kindergarten: Having someone toil for no proper compensation is WRONG (and they can keep their economic analyses to themselves).

- Rolexes never got cheaper because the owners make the big bucks. If you think this is so unrelated, why not teach the poor farmers what to do and therefore make further contribution to fair trade instead of speculating about the necessity of keeping poverty alive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:06, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Fair Trade seems to be ill defined in this article and the comment above underscores the lack of understanding. At its heart, fair trade is a pricing subsidy which also imposes other requirements on its producers (only using "sustainable" methods, labor requirements, etc.) Whether this enables better access to markets is debatable. It is arrogant to presume that the subsistence farmer doesn't understand the law of the market. Across the world, micro finance organizations have found significantly savvy business partners in local producers to make great gains. One can argue the merits, but fair trade is neither. Jettparmer (talk) 17:05, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

"Anecdotes state that farmers were paid more or less by traders than by Fairtrade cooperatives" - what does this statement actually mean? What is it saying - do traders pay more or pay less? The following sentence appears to be rebutting the first statement but not clear. (talk) 19:15, 21 May 2012 (UTC) leanne_maybe

There are too many comments in the criticism section stating "Critics say" with no reference or verification. I think these should be removed unless the person would like to add references. Leanne maybe (talk) 19:43, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

"Overproduction argument" section contains the statement "This argument falls away if, as critics and FLO state, farmers do not get a higher price." Earlier in the article there are references to FLO and critics stating that farmers do get a higher price. Indeed a number of the criticisms are based around this point. However, it is worth noting within the article that fairtrade publicity and website only state that farmers get a "fair and stable" price rather than higher.Leanne maybe (talk) 19:56, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

A number of sections in the criticisms part of this article appear to come almost word for word from Peter Griffith's website, which itself is not very well referenced in my opinion. Some of the references listed on this article are actually from Griffith's article so what is actually being quoted is Griffith's interpretation of the references rather than the references themselves. Leanne maybe (talk) 20:08, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

This isn't fair. There's criticism of capitalism, but we can't have criticism of fair trade? That doesn't make any logical sense. If there's a concern about the neutrality of this article, shouldn't we add some secondary arguments supporting fair trade like in the Capitalism article to be fair and impartial, or create another article entitled Criticism of fair trade and move the information there instead of deleting valuable information? Nashhinton (talk) 02:34, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Critical look at fair trade needed[edit]

The question is does fair trade increase the percentage of the final sale that goes to the producer? Who does it primarily benefit? My guess would be the supermarkets who seem to have higher premiums on fair trade products. So of every extra dollar spent for fair trade who gets what ( 50 cents to the super market, 45 cents to the fair trade bureaucracy, 5 cents to the producer ?). Read thought the financial statements of fair trade and it is little more than pretty pictures. No one seems inclined to answer this question. I presume because the answer does not look good. Overall in coffee and sugar anyway the value going to the producer has steadily declined since the 1990s. If I missed the break down for fair trade in my search would love to know.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:40, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

More then the 5% I though 10% of the premium goes to producers! Now were does the rest of it go? "Fair trade branded 'unfair' | Environment |".  Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:51, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Would be happy to hear feedback on what others think... Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:42, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I work in Mexico in the coffee sector. Although sometimes there might seem to be a disconnect between the actual prices paid by consumers and those received by producers, fair trade is not - as some radical right-wing critics suggest - a scam or a way to make profits while making consumers feel better. When you buy a product in Canada or in the UK, the actual cost paid to the producer is a small overall percentage because of the many other costs involved (packaging, transportation etc.) I suggest taking a look at this interesting supply chain graph (with costs) developed by a US Fair Trade organization: . But this does not change the fact that producer routinely receive much more than through conventional trade (price premiums vary from product to product and from intl market prices). Also, beyond the price argument, we often forget that through Fair Trade we support small producer organizations which are often unable to negotiate good prices in the conventional market due to market asymetries i.e. power asymetries (dealing with huge multinationals and limited negociating power), lack of information, lack of financing.
I live in Mexico and I see the benefits of Fair Trade first-hand... it just makes me VERY angry when right-wingers (such as the Adam Smith Institute) manipulate numbers to scare off consumers from buying Fair Trade products. Fair Trade is probably one of the best things that happened in the coffee sector here... and it still needs to grow much more to have a deeper impact here. Vincentl (talk) 16:10, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for the response. I love numbers and am anything but a right wing critic. Grew up on an small uncertified organic farm. I am however skeptical. And looking at the financial statements of all I saw was fluff. No really numerical analysis of the benefits. Without the organization being involved with the market from producer to consumer they leave themselves open to criticism.
So what proportion of the final coffee price goes to the consumer under fair trade in contrast to standard trade? Since the fair trade movement did not publishing these numbers someone else did.
The site you have posted is much better. Just Coffee appears to have standards greater than fair trade? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:35, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't work at FLO-Fairtrade, but I'd say the reason why there's no single price-benefit analysis is that it's almost impossible to calculate. In the coffee sector, for example, market prices fluctuate daily and depending on quality-origin and tons of other factors. So saying that, let's say, Fair Trade purchase A has had a price premium vs. market price on the 11 of November is very difficult to calculate. Then, taking this a step further, let's make the same calculation for ALL Fair Trade coffee purchases in Mexico (hundreds of shipments). Then let's do the same for ALL Fair Trade shipments around the world. Then another complication comes at the other end of the chain: retail prices vary widely. Which one do you choose? Maybe a small independent shop in Iqualuit or Northern Scotland will have significantly higher operating costs than, let's say, Costco. So consequently its prices will be much higher (and the producer margin smaller vs. the sale price)... I don't know if I'm clear, but trying to calculate these kinds of margins is almost impossible. I worked as an intern in another life for a Fair Trade organization (NGO) in Europe - they tried to calculate this with bananas in France and it was nearly impossible. After LOTS of work, the end result was: for THIS particular shipment that was bought from a coop in the Dominican Republican on the 5th of Dec. (...) and that was sold to a consumer at this supermarket in Paris, THIS is the Fair Trade price premium vs. conventional... and of course, we had to put lots of disclaimers such as "this is just an example and cannot be generalized etc."... Altough the end premium was from my memory something like 40%, the exercise ended up being so complex and discouraging that we decided to focus on other aspects of impact.
It is also important to mention the danger of getting fixated on numbers: of course, although in the vast majority of cases, FT premiums are quite good, I'm sure there are a couple of isolated cases (high local market prices, competition etc.) where FT producers received just the minimum price (MP), or the market price (if higher that MP). Usually organizations such as the Adam Smith Institute are pretty good at spotting these isolated examples and writing press releases. FYI: for a lot of big businesses, FT is threatening... I once had a fight with an editor slandering FT on Wikipedia which ended up working for Unilever (I looked up the IP address).
Oh and about Just Coffee... standards vary from one Fair Trade organization to another. I'd say generally 100% Fair Traders pay higher prices than, let's say, multinationals doing token Fair Trade. However, there are general standards and minimum prices set up by FLO ( so this keeps a guarantee that when a consumer buys a product with the mark, at least he knows he gets something in return.
I understand that it is difficult to generate these numbers and that one might only be able to do it for certain products / shipments. This is still better than nothing especially if you are asking people to buy something based on a difference in the suppply chain. No one expects the entire premium to go to the producer as they realize that there is overhead many just wonder what it is. If ASI can come up with an estimate has the FT organizations calculated their own numbers? BTW if you published you analysis for FT bananas we could add it.
FT is a $4 Billion industry. An in-depth analysis must be out there. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:12, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

First question[edit]

In whose pocket does the fair trade premium end up? We have one reference that says 10% ends up with the producer.[10] Any other estimates?Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:52, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Please rewrite the sections of the criticism section I deleted. Writing "some people say" is not considered acceptable under Wikipedia policies. Moreover, you need to better explain and contextualize some of the assertions you are making. Please discuss here before reverting on the main article page. Vincentl (talk) 02:09, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
You removed well referenced statements without discuss and multiple requests to discuss issues and presentation. Please clarify the issues you have with them?Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:11, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Segment at issue[edit]

Please state below what you feel needs improving so that we may return it to the article:

The response to fair trade has been mixed. With 10% of the increase in price over a similar non fair trade product ending up in the hands of producers, Tom Clougherty, the Adam Smith Institute's policy director, describes it as little more than a marketing ploy. Harriet Lamb, director of the Fairtrade Foundation, consider that this is sufficient to make a big difference in millions of peoples' lives.[5]

Steve Daley, of the WORLDwrite charity feels that the differences that fair trade makes in the developing world are insufficient.[6] Mr Vasquez and his co-workers, workers hired by fair trade farmers in Moyobamba region, Peru, make 10 soles per day ( $3 USD ) as opposed to 8 soles per day made on non fair trade farms. This higher wage is still less than the legal minimum wage of 11 soles in 4 out of the 5 farms visited.[7] Steve Daley has concerns that the certification primarily "flatter Western shoppers" rather than making a significant difference.[8]

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:13, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Please explain how the Adam Smith institute calculated the Fair Trade premium (where, under which circumstances, products etc.).
Second, please also explain what Fair Trade premium is: in the sector, this means "the social premium" which is paid to producer organizations in addition to the Fair Trade price. I don't think this is what the Adam Smith Institute has in mind... so this has to be better defined and worded.
Third, please avoid the word "some feel"... under Wikipedia guidelines, this is considered a weasel word and should be avoided in articles.
Fourth, these are not "fair trade farm workers" but laborers hired by Fair Trade producers. An important distinction to better understand the context.
Fifth, more context should be added to this assertion: when were these farms visited and by whom? Which part of Peru? I live in Mexico and this statement does not apply to my reality here...
Vincentl (talk) 02:19, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
1) We are not required to explain how referenced determined the results they obtained ( just as we do not need to describe how medical studies are preformed )
If you look through the chain of citation (which here) you'll see that they didn't come up with the number themselves. Eventually it comes back to the book the Undercover Economist where the calculation is done just for a cup of coffee at a particular London chain. I'm marking this 'fact' as dubious. Jeff (talk) 18:21, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
2) Agree and changed to "increase in price over a similar non fair trade product"
3) We will need to make sure this is done everywhere in the article :-)
4) Done
5) The part of Peru added. The paper was published in 2006.
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:37, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
If you want to see well-written criticism - please see the Price distortion argument section of the Criticism section...Vincentl (talk) 02:32, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
OK - fine we can include this back if the changes are agreed to. However, please explain where this was calculated (the Fair Trade premium)... cocoa products in the UK? Coffee bought in France? If you don't know, just write something like "According to calculations from the Adam Smith Institute, a product bought by the Institute had this premium... etc."Vincentl (talk) 02:41, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
We do not explain how Flo arrived at "over 7.5 million producers and their families were benefiting from fair trade funded infrastructure, technical assistance and community development projects". We take it at face value thus we take the conclusions of the Adam institute at face value and are not required to verify them. If we had other results that claimed a different result that would be great and we could contrast them... But we do not it seems and this is actually the only reason I got involved.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:47, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
FLO arrived to that number by simply adding up the number of members from all the Fair Trade certified cooperatives and groups around the world and adding up their family members. This number is easily verifiable. The 10% number is much much more debatable... we have discussed this before... varies from product to product, from point of purchase etc.Vincentl (talk) 02:51, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
If you want an example (with different conclusions from the Adam Smith institute): please see this page: this was calculated by Max Havelaar France (France) and the product is coffee. As I told you before, I never wanted to mention these kinds of studies on the page because they can't be generalized but if you insist... you can use this one to contrast.Vincentl (talk) 02:56, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Another example with bananas as well... (talk) 02:57, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

(undent)Sounds good I will add what I have back and you can add this other studies for contrast. Thanks and interesting discussion.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:59, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

OK, please include in the criticism section - I can contrast with other studies.Vincentl (talk) 03:03, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Just a clarification - although I agree with putting this in the article, I don't think this belongs to the header section. This is just a general description of the issues at stake in the article - and I think the short line I wrote does a better job at mentioning criticism than putting this here. This paragraph (and its response) belong in the criticism section... Vincentl (talk) 03:11, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
I disagree some of this needs to be in the lead as does some information on the impact studies. A lot of people coming to this page will be wondering how effective fair trade is and currently this is poorly addressed. In both the lead and the main text of the article.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:12, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
You have once again removed all the referenced text I added. After you said above that it could be included. Will request a third party opinion. Cheers.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:18, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
You can say there's a debate (as I did in the sentence I wrote), but you can't "get in the debate" in the lead or else the lead will become VERY long and won't be any useful at all... You will quote the Adam Smith Institute, I will quote an impact study I read, you will counterquote... this will never end. And will confuse readers... that's why you have the section Criticism and "Impact Studies"... Vincentl (talk) 03:20, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
It is interesting that both of the references above you gave show that the final retailer did not make greater profits in direct contrast to what is stated by the BBC and ASI. And that fair trade primarily benefited the producer. Why would the organization not publish this in a English journal of economics? It does sound to got to be true and thus however a little improbable.
Also you cannot continue to remove the material from the BBC, and Adam Smith Institute just because you dislike the conclusion. Please see Wikipedia:Edit warring Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:00, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
If you are looking for a credible impact study on Fair Trade, please take a look at any of those in the impact studies section, including this one sponsored by the World Bank in 2006 (see World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 4011, September 2006):
"The paper empirically evaluates the role of (non-Fairtrade price) Fairtrade intervention in international commodity markets. The failure of market power and low producer capacity in coffee markets in LDCs are identified as underlying causes of the low share of coffee returns faced by producers. In these respects at least, the role of Fairtrade is effective. Its support for cooperatives in mitigating market power is found not to be misplaced in Costa Rica. Fairtrade mills also improve the returns to farmers through the improved efficiency of their organizations."... just one example...
I told you before - as someone who works with producer organizations and formerly worked in sustainable supply chains in Europe and North America - all these studies whether by the Adam Smith Institute or Fair Trade organizations, on price differences and margins... are meaningless. Data can be easily manipulated and at any time you can find positive or negative examples on the market. This is not the good way to look or assess Fair Trade... this is just not what it's about. And for the record, I am not deleting your comment, but only moving it to the criticism section where it belongs. If you want to leave it in the intro, I'll have to move up too some of the impact studies (see impact studies section) and the header will become unnecessarily long and confusing. Better leave things where they belong, i.e. in the criticism and impact studies section.Vincentl (talk) 15:54, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
I inserted more explicitly the part we discussed (see above) in the criticism section...Vincentl (talk) 16:33, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

This will most likely not help the article, but it will help those who seek the truth: the "price distortion" argument of the Adam Smith Institute is ideology and not science, is an insult to the genius of Adam Smith, and can easily be proven absurd (at least from what is quoted here in the article). People who buy fair trade products do not conform to the "rational buyer" logic at the root of the so-called laws of supply and demand. The customers who seek fair trade products intentionally, rationally act as citizens and want to pay more if it is what is need to avoid human exploitation. In their behaviour on the market, they ignore the lower-priced products that are not certified fair trade. Their behaviour does not fit the model: they are not blindly giving their money to whoever for whatever is lowest price of a given product. They contribute to the creation of a parallel trade network, working in concurrence with the one existing as a result of our irresponsible consuming habits. That is fundamental and invalidates completely the premises of the argument. The "arguments" of Brink Lindsey are also rooted on the same premises and therefore do not apply. -- Mathieugp (talk) 03:59, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

While your opinion is interesting, I'm afraid without a reputable source saying the same thing it is deep in original research territory. It is also a different track from what was being discussed above: the stuff Doc James wants to put back in is mostly criticism of fair trade's effectiveness at actually helping the producers, not market distortion. TastyCakes (talk) 21:09, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I see. So the problem is my (lack of) reputability... Zut alors! But I am a problem solver, so here is what I propose: let's setup a non-for-profit agency meant to certify reputability. I will apply to this third party to get a certificate. Then you can quote my blog. Hum... wait, wait. That is too complicated and much to ethical. Instead, let's setup a neocon or neolib think tank disguised as an Institute. That way, we can be fraud and get private sponsors for it. ;-) -- Mathieugp (talk) 01:19, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
No, the problem is that Wikipedia is a place for gathering relevant, notable, reliable sources, not for presenting our own thoughts on a subject. And I'm afraid a self-published blog created for the sole purpose of getting your opinion in Wikipedia is unlikely to meet all of these criteria, although I believe I might sense a bit of sarcasm in there :) I appreciate your enthusiasm! Hopefully you can channel it into improving the article further. TastyCakes (talk) 04:50, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Of course it's sarcasm! I can do "with notable, reliable sources" when I am in the mood. Unfortunately, as you know for sure, the sources aren't always there. :) -- Mathieugp (talk) 15:42, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

a fair trade is a bad thing it means people swearing —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

as wekipedia there must be everything about fairtrade and i am a student of year 10 so i dont understand this rubbish.....

Adherence to standards.[edit]

I've been unable to verify that the major labels claim to enforce the standards or vice versa.

If they do so, there should be specific adherence, policing commitments and information on their sites about enforcement actions, that I can't find. I can't connect the dots to show I can identify and have confidence that a specific label means a specific standard is met. It needs to be clear that the label is that of a company that certifies that it ensures its label is only used on products that meet specific standards. I don't find the specific commitments on the web sites of the relevant organizations.

If the information is out there, let's connect the dots, at least for the most widely used labels.

At least one can find standards [11]; when I looked a couple years ago, I could find none, just vague marketing copy. --Elvey (talk) 02:13, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

I made some edits accordingly; Here's another quote I didn't use, from this NY Times article: "An analysis using information from TransFair shows that cocoa farmers get 3 cents of the $3.49 spent on a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar labeled "organic fair trade" sold at Target. Farmers receive 24 cents for a one-pound bag of fair trade sugar sold at Whole Foods for $3.79." Also found the info on certification fees here but FLO-CERT's fees aren't precisely defined until the producer has been invoiced, due to varying travel and follow-up costs. Fees to FLO-CERT are hard to calculate but are at lesat €1900 for the first year for the smallest producer organization. Certification work is charged at €400 per day required for follow-up inspections.

Impact studies move[edit]

This section is, except for the introductory sentence, identical to the main article Fair trade impact studies. I believe removing the body text, and only keeping (preferably an expanded) intro paragraph, is the best practice. If anyone well-informed about fair-trade impact studies is interested in expanding the paragraph that would be great, because keeping it as it is, is just having the same content x 2. jonkerz 02:43, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Now moved and an expand section template added. jonkerz 09:03, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Are there competitiors to Fairtrade certification? need a list of certifications[edit]

The terms Fairtrade and Fair Trade Certified are very specific to one organization, overseen by the FLO International, and their certification body, FLO-CERT.

Question: Are there competitiors to Fairtrade? Do certifications with similar social justice goals, from totally separate organizations, exist? For example, is Rainforest Alliance considered a similar type of initiative? And are there others? RK (talk) 20:44, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Key principles[edit]

I do not think this is acceptable. There is an enormous literature pointing out that it concentrates on the richer farmers, not the marginalized ones. It does not allow access with fewer middlemen, nor would that necessarily be desirable - farmers sell to Nescafe who sell to supermarkets is the fewest. There is complete confusion between wages, prices and incomes. There is no clear statement that the contracts are with the exporting firms not the farmers. People providing transport, processing, marketing services are normally considered producers. There is no mention of their political objectives. I have deleted the contentious statements. AidWorker (talk) 11:14, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Improve readability of introduction[edit]

In the second paragraph, "FLO International" is named before the full name, "Fairtrade Labeling Organization International" is ever stated. This goes against generally accepted practice and can cause confusion in the reader. (I noticed because it confused me for a moment.) To be fair, this occurs throughout Wikipedia, but the Fair trade article has the distinction of getting me to say something rather than simply correcting it.

Tryanmax (talk) 13:30, 10 May 2011 (UTC)


The Definition paragraph is a disaster. I don't use that word to be offensive. I want to paint a clear picture of how incredibly difficult it is to understand. Would someone who knows what is being said there please reorganize the paragraph, as I fear I do not understand what is being said well enough to safely correct the problem. Tryanmax (talk) 13:35, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

FLO and Cooperatives[edit]

The last explanation of FLO states "However, only products from certain developing countries are eligible for certification, and must be from cooperatives" This is factually incorrect. Both cooperatives and what FLO terms Hired Labour Organisations (HLO's) are certified. In South Africa there are only 3 certified cooperatives and over 30 HLO's — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:45, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

I just removed a sentence[edit]

I removed a sentence from the article, for three reasons. 1) it is not based on a reliable source. A commercial company promoting their products on their website is not a reliable source for objective factual info. 2) The statement on that page, even if it was reliable, does not support the statement in the article. 3) The sentence is in the wrong section and should be somewhere else. If someone can find a reliable source to back up this statement, then it should be put back in, but in a different section where it makes sense. In it's current position it is a non-sequitor injected into the middle of a paragraph talking about something completely different. PeaceLoveHarmony (talk) 18:10, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

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Edit 7 Feb 2011[edit]

I have collected together the criticisms that were formerly scattered in bits through the page making them difficult to follow, and have shortened some: the overproduction argument is blindingly obvious to an economist and particularly an agricultural economist and the graphs are unintelligible to anyone else.I have cut the Justifications for Fair Trade: everybody agrees that farmers in the Third World are very poor, everybody agrees that the marketing system and commodities market is imperfect, and the specialists could go into enormous detail on this. It does not follow that Fair Trade can do anything about this, and nobody has attempted to show that it can. The critics argue that it does not. And of course, even if an argument could be made, it is still claimed that other approaches achieve far more at a fraction of the cost. I have cut references to non-verifiable sources, blogs, etc and to sources which do not make the points claimed in the discussion. The suggestion that one paper refutes the whole of marketing economics and indeed economics, is untenable.AidWorker (talk) 20:01, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Good work.
In principle, we should try to avoid "criticism" sections as they can allow an article to become unbalanced (ie. it splits into "pro" and "anti" sections rather than having neutral prose throughout). However, I think that your edit is a big net positive for the article. bobrayner (talk) 02:11, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Criticism section placement[edit]

Why does the criticism section appear before the movement is even discussed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:10, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

I thought that too. I changed it but it also seems a bit long. Munci (talk) 05:14, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

The problem is an overlong entry with vast amounts of information of little interest to most readers, history of the movement in great detail etc. It would be entirely inappropriate to put important criticisms after these, because nobody would ever read that far. So is anyone willing to cut down the description into a short, interesting, referenced, verifiable article?AidWorker (talk) 14:50, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

It's actually the "criticisms" that is overly long, filled with original research and interpretation, and vaguely sourced (when sourced at all). This section properly belongs at the end, and desperately needs to be trimmed considerably.Notmyrealname (talk) 19:45, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Really? The criticisms section looks fairly well sourced to me. Do you have any specific examples of OR or missing sources?
Picking a random example (very typical): "There have been largely political criticisms of Fairtrade from the left and the right. Some believe the fair trade system is not radical enough. French author Christian Jacquiau, in his book Les coulisses du commerce équitable, calls for stricter fair trade standards and criticizes the fair trade movement for working within the current system (i.e., partnerships with mass retailers, multinational corporations etc.) rather than establishing a new fairer, fully autonomous trading system. Jacquiau is also a staunch supporter of significantly higher fair trade prices in order to maximize the impact, as most producers only sell a portion of their crop under fair trade terms." This reads like a book report. It cites the whole book. Is the author speaking about the French version of FT or as it applies everywhere? "Left and Right" are vague descriptors.Notmyrealname (talk) 14:55, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I think that criticism sections in general are suboptimal - it's better to integrate criticism into the body of the article rather than having separate "pro" and "anti" blocks of text. However, this can take more work. Could we try integrating the criticism on this article? bobrayner (talk) 20:16, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Interestingly enough, "pro" blocks of text are actually quite rare. Only with the most well-loved of public figures do you see a praise section. Usually it's neutral, possibly followed by "anti". ("anti" coming first here would be highly unusual) It seems that people are often quite negative in their inclusion of opinion in articles. Munci (talk) 12:17, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Unless people are content to trim this section I think that, because its size and the existence of separate history and certification pages, there should be a separate Criticisms of Fairtrade page. This would allow the arguments to be better organised and would have space for (well referenced) retorts against the criticism. It would be a much more appropriate use of wikipedia than the slightly old-fashioned "This is X and this is why some people think X is bad" style that we're trying to move away from. Kansaikiwi (talk) 04:18, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

If criticism would be copied to the Criticisms of Fairtrade article, it would be redundant; but if criticism were moved to the Criticisms of Fairtrade article it would be a pov fork and neither that article nor this one would be neutral. bobrayner (talk) 18:18, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
If we created a Criticisms of Fairtrade article, we could leave a small summary on this page. Leaving it as is, has gone from NPOV to undue. I think this is a reasonable compromise. Not all forks are unwise forks.Notmyrealname (talk) 15:40, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Moving the criticisms would effectively restore the page to an advertisement for a highly suspect commercial brand, with all criticisms removed to a place where nearly all readers will miss them. The fact is that there have been an enormous number of criticisms, including criticisms by people broadly in favour, and there has been no response to cite. 10:05, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Notmyrealname objects to the bit on political basis of criticisms. But much of the debate very strongly influenced by the author's perception that he is on the right fighting the left, or vice versa. Personally I find that this part of the debate is confused, but my view is irrelevant. Someone has felt it necessary to mention this part of the debate, and I cannot disagree. Notmyrealname suggests, without evidence, that the French version of Fairtrade is different - how? I have not read Jacquieu but I gather much of his large book refers to the FLO central organization, e.g. monitoring and standards. And I cannot agree that anything written by people of a different nationality is automatically suspect.14:26, 5 July 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by AidWorker (talkcontribs)

This isn't fair. There's criticism of capitalism, but we can't have criticism of fair trade? That doesn't make any logical sense. If there's a concern about the neutrality of this article, shouldn't we add some secondary arguments supporting fair trade like in the Capitalism article to be fair and impartial, or create another article entitled Criticism of fair trade and move the information there instead of deleting valuable information? Nashhinton (talk) 02:39, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Websites as sources[edit]

Over the years (see above) there have been repeated criticisms of the use of company or organization websites as sources. Again much of the plug for Fair Trade is based on them. Websites are written by highly paid public relations professionals to support the organization. When they have unsupported statements, vague statements,statements that a casual reader will misunderstand, and when relevant and readily available information is omitted, it is reasonable to suspect that there is an attempt to mislead.10:05, 5 July 2012 Statements like, "Fairtrade International claims that some fair trade products account for 20-50% of all sales in their product categories in individual countries, and in June 2008, claimed that over 7.5 million producers and their families were benefiting from fair trade funded infrastructure, technical assistance and community development projects.[9]" show the extremely misleading and false inferences that can be drawn.

Listing all the aims and values of an organization is similarly misleading. "Wants higher prices for exporters in the Third World, supports Trade Justice, fond of children, kind to animals" are the sort of thing most firms and organizations would claim, and none would publicly attack. Wikipedia should concentrate on statements of what they actually do,based on evidence. And if possible, state what resources are devoted to each strand: no doubt someone in the organization does sign a Trade Justice petition once a year, just to make it true.

(UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by AidWorker (talkcontribs)


Italic textare awesome. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Fair trade commodities[edit]

Hello all! I see a need for specific commodities to be recognized such as coffee, cocoa, and clothing and textiles. These commodities are mentioned throughout the article already but I plan on integrating the information and additional information into a new section on fair trade commodities. I want to look at differences in labor practices for these commodities and see how (or whether) fair trade companies actually promote sustainability and fair labor practices. There seems to be a lot of contention over how much of the extra money consumers pay for fair trade products actually goes back to the producers. It will be interesting to see if this amount varies with the type of commodity. Labor is an important topic that could also vary with the type of commodity. For example, are cocoa and textile workers treated differently because cocoa plantation workers are outside harvesting cocoa beans while textile workers are inside a factory? I am aware that there is already a Wikipedia article for Fair trade coffee, so I will link that page to the fair trade commodity section. Adding a section on fair trade commodities will also help with the Locations section. Examining specific commodities will make it more apparent which parts of the world are utilized in producing fair trade products. It is important to recognize that most of these locations are developing countries, and fair trade could have a strong impact on development. I will draw sources from journals such as Journal of Business Ethics, Research in Economic Anthropology, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, and World Development. Although there is information about specific commodities on the Fair Trade USA website (in the Impact Reports), I will refrain from using this website because it is clearly not neutral. Any and all suggestions are welcome as I attempt to make the "Fair trade" page more comprehensive. I especially welcome input on criticisms of specific commodities being fair trade and differing labor practices based on the commodity. Allisonshields (talk) 05:37, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

That looks like a really good approach - go for it! In addition to the journals, may I suggest something like this? bobrayner (talk) 11:41, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes, this needs a major fundamental rewrite. It is not an encyclopedia article. Someone looking at Wikipedia wants to know in the first 150 words what Fair Trade does, and wants verifiable statements. The next 1500 words should concentrate on what the vast majority of readers want to know. There should be the minimum of verbiage. Compare what is there now: For the first 4600 words there is nothing saying what exactly Fair Trade does and does not do, with or without evidence. There are a large number of grandiose statements of aims, objectives and ethical standards with no evidence whatsoever that they have been attempted. And there is no evidence that they have been achieved – the evidence does not exist. It is purely an advertisement for a commercial product. There are false claims and snippets of information carefully selected to put Fair Trade in the best light. A dishonest advertisement for a commercial product 853 words on Fairtrade in the EU, 2265 words on the history of Fair Trade, the rest on the number of different organizations and what they claim (leaving out several of the big ones). I doubt if one in a thousand readers care. So the page bores people silly. And it is verbose and ill organized. A very effective way of hiding awkward facts. Fairtrade in the EU, the history of Fairtrade and the different organizations can each be handled by a very brief paragraph with references to source documents. Note too that Fairtrade officials claimed 5000 products two years ago – you cannot cover them all. 18:36, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

what products can be fairtrade products?[edit]

-- (talk) 19:40, 22 October 2012 (UTC)'Im doing homeowrk and i really need some fairtrade products, thanks x'''Italic text

Major rewrite[edit]

Thank you for the major rewrite. It is infinitely better than before: it says something meaningful and it has verifiable evidence. It must have taken you a long time. I have put in a disambiguation: you got it right but many of the previous editors were hopelessly confused, as are people reading the advertisements.AidWorker (talk) 14:21, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

No Definition[edit]

This entry is absolutely terrible. I read the entire thing and it never offers a definition of what fair trade actually is. How about a definition or some indication of what the concept means. This reads like a debate between topic insiders. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Needs Major Edits[edit]

First of all, I agree with the user who posted above me. There is no clear definition of fair trade contained in the article. Not only that, but the first paragraph is just statistics. Secondly, the article seems a bit biased. The wording throughout the article just feels one-sided. I understand there is a criticism section, but even that feels a bit biased. Riffraff913 (talk) 10:43, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

The lead containing the definition was removed without explanation in January. I've restored it. jonkerz ♠talk 20:48, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree that major edits are needed. For example I have removed the advertisements for twenty firms selling fair trade: why these rather than a thousand others? why not those with big volumes?. AidWorker (talk) 09:02, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Nice work. bobrayner (talk) 19:59, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Agricultural subsidies[edit]

Fair trade was created as a way to help level out/reduce the economic benefit that farmers in 1st world countries have; namely via the agricultural_subsidies. Please mention this in the article, it is very important that such background information is found at this page. (talk) 08:10, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Lorna Young Foundation. (2007). Lorna Young Foundation - About Us URL accessed on August 3, 2010.
  2. ^ Jurang Fair Trade. (2010). Fairtrade or Fair Trade; does a philosophy need branding?. URL accessed on August 3, 2010.
  3. ^ Newton, Samantha; Grynberg, Roman (2007). Commodity prices and development. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. p. 138. ISBN 0-19-923470-1. 
  4. ^ Downie, Andrew (October 2, 2007). "Fair trade blooms". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Fair trade branded 'unfair' | Environment |". Guardian. 
  6. ^ "BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | How fair is Fairtrade?". 
  7. ^ " / Americas - The bitter cost of ‘fair trade’ coffee". 
  8. ^ "BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | How fair is Fairtrade?". 
  9. ^ Fairtrade [Labelling Organizations] International (2008).FLO International: Annual Report 2007. URL accessed on June 16, 2008.