Purpose – This paper aims to consider the impact of Fair Trade on producers with particular reference to women involved in Fair Trade production. Design/methodology/approach – The paper considers Fair Trade as an alternative to rational economic models of free trade and as a tool for development. A gender and development (GAD) perspective is used to assess whether Fair Trade empowers women in developing nations. Findings – Fair Trade offers an alternative to free trade within capitalist production and has a positive impact for producers. The impact on gender relations within producer communities is limited although there are benefits for some women involved in Fair Trade production. Research limitations/implications – The paper is based on secondary data and highlights the need for more focused research, which explores the links between gender, cultural relations and Fair Trade. Originality/value – Understanding that while Fair Trade is usually considered as a positive developmental tool, its impacts are not homogeneous and are subject to the cultural gender relations that exist in producer communities. The paper highlights the need for a more systematic and longitudinal analysis of the impact of Fair Trade for women.
critical perspectives on international business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 19, 2012
Keywords: Fair Trade; Empowerment; Development; Gender
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