EVALUATING THE CRITICISMS OF FAIR TRADE

Authors

  • Alastair M. Smith

    Corresponding author
    1. ESRC-funded BRASS Centre at Cardiff University
      Colleen Haight and David R. Henderson will respond to this article in the March 2010 edition of Economic Affairs.
      Alastair M. Smith is a doctoral researcher at the ESRC-funded BRASS Centre at Cardiff University. He has spent time working in the field of micro-business development in Central and South America (smitham3@cardiff.ac.uk).
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Colleen Haight and David R. Henderson will respond to this article in the March 2010 edition of Economic Affairs.
Alastair M. Smith is a doctoral researcher at the ESRC-funded BRASS Centre at Cardiff University. He has spent time working in the field of micro-business development in Central and South America (smitham3@cardiff.ac.uk).

Abstract

This article critically examines some of the most common arguments used to support the view that Fair Trade should be rejected by consumers and businesses seeking to socialise their economic decisions. Overall the paper finds that the majority of such criticisms lack evidential rigour and sophisticated theory but instead rely on a high degree of rhetorical aptitude. While this does not naturally lead to the position that Fair Trade is necessarily beneficial, the conclusion reflects on a substantial amount of positive evidence to suggest that Fair Trade should not be abandoned by consumers or businesses.

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