While the intentions of fair trade were to improve conditions for poor workers and allow them a steadier job and income, the affect of fair trade in the third world has not always worked out to be as helpful as one would hope.
For one, fair trade is often criticized as impeding the market from growth and also that it does not contest the current system of trading. Also, when it is looked at as a subsidy that impedes market growth, it can no longer be considered ‘fair’ trade.
Another issue with fair trade is that in order to protect workers and give them a better work conditions is that in the end working with the addition fair trade rules and regulations can actually end up costing the fair trade farmer/ worker more money, which is often not an incentive to create high quality fair trade goods in the long term.
Ultimately, the short term benefits of fair trade for farmers and workers in third world countries can look attractive at the outside, but in the long terms this form of trading does not work out to be the best trade for them to choose.
I agree with greenveganyogini.
Fair trade is not as great as it may sound. I attached a wikipedia page called Fair Trade Impact Studies, which briefly touches on how uninformed we all are.
There is no way of us to certainly know the effect of fair trade products. The farmers are not necessarily getting more money. The other farmers, not in the frade trade unions, have decreased self esteem and the effects are not known.
The concept of fair trade is wonderful, but who can you trust nowadays? My suggestion is to buy fair trade regardless, but look for comapanies that promise to donate a percentage of their profit to charity or organizations.
If nothing else, at least having Fair Trade as a standard educates and makes people aware of problems.
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