Fair Trade Isn't all Fair Essay

Fair Trade Isn't all Fair Essay

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1. I have minimal prior knowledge about this topic but I have heard and read stories about fair trade in the past. I believe fair trade is international trade in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers. I know that trade isn’t all fair thus workers don’t always get a reasonable share of their profits however fair trade prevents such injustice in the market. Additionally, I choose this topic because I want to major in international business and fair trade is dealt with on an international level which allows me to learn more about the global market.

2. Fair trade began as early as 1940’s after World War II with churches selling crafts to wealthier people in order to aid those in need. To encourage economic expansion Western Europe began importing goods from Eastern Europe. Meanwhile in the US, the Mennonite Central Committee created a crafts-selling institution that was later called ‘Ten Thousand Villages.’ Such organizations planned to reverse the profits received by the middle men to the craftsman in developing counties. In 1988 when the value of coffee heavily dropped, the Max Havelaar Foundation was the first to begin independent fair labeling in the Netherlands. Other British groups began to join and form the Fairtrade Foundation, which later became the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO) in 1997 as more nations united. In addition, United States opened its own fair labelling organization in 1998, named the TransFair USA. Nonetheless many American consumers are unaware of fair trade labeling unlike Europe and United Kingdom.
Many people debate on perceived benefits of fair trade because it has a cost that can be seen as both beneficial and harmful. Selling fair trade products guarantees a min...


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...t to determine if all the beans are certified. Second, the prices are inflated for people to stay in the coffee making business instead of progressing into other industries that may be more profitable in the long run. Third, fair trade appears to be a good way to limit competition for wealthy counties such as Europe and US. Miller states that fair trade has helped many people facing poverty but with consequences.
Both articles clarify the benefits of fair trade but the costs overweight the positives pushing me against free trade. I believe the points both authors have stated portray clear evidence of how free trade does not aid all of the farmers, especially the poorest ones. After this assignment my viewpoint of free trade has shifted, although I still think that free trade is beneficial in order to guarantee customers purchases are receive back to the producers.

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