Fair Trade – is it really fair?

This morning I was listening to an article on the BBC World Service on the phenomenon of Fair Trade. We’ve probably all seen items in stores being labeled as Fair Trade, but what is it all about?

The BBC article was part of the Global Business program and I found it to be really interesting. While some people see Fair Trade as being supportive of agriculture in the developing world, others feel that it can give producers a false sense of security and also allow substandard producers to survive when it might be better that they didn’t.

Large corporations are certainly getting in on the act. I remember reading about Fair Trade in Starbucks some time ago and Cadbury have announced that their Dairy Milk (my favorite chocolate as it happens) is going to be made exclusively from Fair Trade cocoa from Ghana.

What do you think; is Fair Trade likely to help farmers in poor countries, or is it just meddling with real free trade?

If you’d like to read more, please visit the BBC Global Business page here. There is a link on the page to listen to the program.


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