Challenges Facing Fair Trade: Which Way Now?

By Anna Tallontire,

September 10-12, 2001

Paper for the DSA conference 2001


Approaching maturity, Fair Trade faces challenges at both ends of the supply chain, reflecting the dual roles of Fair Trade as a business and development instrument. Who should supply the Fair Trade market, what support do producers require and what is the impact of the relationship between Fair Trade organisations and producers? How can Fair Trade continue to assert its unique selling point in the market place and what messages should it be transmitting to the consumer? What does the Fair Trade movement need to do to substantiate its claims regarding benefits to producers? The paper draws on research, consultancy and engagement with the Fair Trade movement to explore issues of producer development, accountability, and competition in the consumer market and to look forward to potential strategies for the movement, especially as other approaches to trading ethically are becoming more active in the market place.

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