Fair Trade's Market Based Approach to Poverty Alleviation Essay

Fair Trade's Market Based Approach to Poverty Alleviation Essay

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People have been trading since the beginning of time. The exchange of goods is why humans have strived to make new discoveries and why we attach value to goods and services. This has gone on to evolve over time to encapsulate a global system of trade which we are now dependent on to meet our needs. Unfortunately, the system is capitalised on. David Ricardo’s concept of comparative advantages has brought about true Globalisation, affecting every man and woman on the planet with the fluctuation of prices in raw materials. This “race to the bottom” has left mass devastation on the planet and caused huge disparity between the people who have and have not. The only people who have truly benefited from this system are the elite.

Since the Wealth Crash of the 1970’s, we have seen market fundamentalism lead global development down a very biased path that has favoured wealthier western countries whilst masquerading as having a poverty reduction agenda. The introduction of structural adjustment plans, tied aid and Free Trade were western concepts, pushed onto developing countries, that held rich resources so eagerly waiting to be exploited. Peet (2003) argues that despite the economic policies put in place by The World Trade Organisation, The World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund to govern global trade structures, often contradictory neoliberal regulations have favoured the most affluent nations. Neoliberal market based approaches have failed the poor, creating a rise in basic food prices and pushing 115million people into the category of food insecure in 2008. The total number of hungry people raising up to 1billion, the most it has ever been (WDM 2012).

In Monbiot’s article, I Was Wrong About Trade (2003), he suggests that a...


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...cial equity and ecological sustainability: Introduction to this special issue, Journal of Cleaner Production 18 (6), 511e518.

Sodi, M, S. and Tang, C, S. 2011, Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier

Strong, C. (1997), The Role of Fair Trade Principles Within Sustainable Development, University of Wales, Cardiff, UK

The World Development Movement (WDM). 2012, Food Sovereignty, Tricky Question Briefing, December 2012

World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). 2011. 60 Years of Fair Trade, viewed 12 December 2013, < http://www.wfto.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10&Itemid=17>

World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), 2013a, Guarantee System Handbook, WFTO Fair Trade Standard, Version 3.5, April 2013

World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), 2013b, Network, viewed 4 January 2013, < http://www.wfto.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=906&Itemid=312>

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