Faculty of Management professor Will Low and School of Peace and Conflict assoicate faculty member Eileen Davenport were published in Critical Perspectives on International Business.
The paper, entitled The Labour Behind the (Fair Trade) Label, critically examines the marketing of fair trade, arguing that the use of the term producer conflates a number of categories of actors, not all of whom benefit equally. We contend that the two existing archetypes - the noble peasant farmer and the independent artisan, and the emerging archetype of the “empowered decision maker” serve to obscure and mask complex labour relationships.
Hidden behind the three dominant archetypes used to promote fair trade is a relationship between fair trade “producers” (small farmer, craft enterprise and plantations) and permanent and temporary/casual labourers. The trickle-down of fair trade benefits to these workers is uneven at best and falls far short of the expectation of empowerment of all "producers" that fair trade promises.
See the article online.