Name: Yvonne Anthea Jensen
Date: 11 March 2018
Fair trade may not be a fair deal after all
Based on the article, the following text discusses the benefits and drawbacks, that the fair trade movement has on consumers, workers and companies.
For the consumers, the fair trade movement gives them a good conscience, that they are buying products in line with their principles and values. It gives them the assurance, that they have made the right choice in supporting socially and environmentally sound practices. They get better quality products, which are not polluted with hazardous chemicals, and are produced without harming future generations. On the downside, there are limited products under the Fairtrade label, and therefore consumers will have to pay a higher price due to higher farming costs. In addition, there are some news that the fair trade movement is not fair due to the unscrupulous middlemen, who takes a profit leaving the workers in darkness. Which means that there may be some mistrust in the fair trade system.
For the workers and producers, the fair trade movement helps to reduce poverty. It is committed to give the producers higher prices for their products. This will create decent working conditions, and fair wages for the workers. The drawback is that the products that need to be certified, requires a lot of resources. Firstly, the producers need to train the workers. Thereafter, they need to implement the work processes to meet Fair Trade quality and standards. It may not be easy for smaller producers to have the required skill set, and therefore leaving the market to the bigger players, who have the required resources.
As for the companies, the fair trade movement is a marketing tool to strengthen the power of the company’s brand. The company can also sign long-term commitments with producers, without having the need to constantly source for new producers. The downside is that they are required to pay higher prices for the raw products, which makes it a challenge to compete with other products, that are not Fairtrade certified. In addition, there are a lot bureaucracies, because the companies need to have all the formalities in place, before having their products certified as Fairtrade.
In conclusion, the fair trade movement is a means of getting a fair deal for consumers, workers and companies. Although the intention is to have a good and fair system, but it may not be a fair deal for all parties involved due to the perplexity and lack of transparency of the fair trade system.