Call for articles
Fair and green trade
Issue 24.1, March 2008.
Since the early 1990’s “fairly traded” products have become well known and widely available. Realising that consumers’ buying power can make a difference, various groups have taken initiatives to set up fair trade schemes whereby produce, initially coffee, was bought directly from farmers. By giving them a better price and a guaranteed market, farmers would benefit, and consumers could buy products which were bought on the basis of a fair trade.
Today, there is a robust and growing international market for ‘fair and green’ products, ranging from coffee, tea, chocolate, fruits and spices to textiles and various other bulk commodities. As markets for fair and green trade products are expanding, we would like to look at some of the issues faced by LEISA farmers. While for consumers, these products are becoming more mainstream, what challenges and opportunities does this pose for small-scale producers? What strategies can be used to access international markets? What have been strengths and weaknesses of farmers’ organisations in meeting the growing demands, both in terms of quality and quantity of produce? How are the opportunities managed in terms of production, as well as accessing market information and market chains?
Quality control is a big issue with organic, or green and fair trade products. Certification is often necessary but can be prohibitively expensive for small-scale producers. Have any effective solutions have been found, such as community guarantee schemes or other ‘alternative’ certification mechanisms? And what about short supply chains, where (groups of) consumers buy directly from (groups of) producers? We would like to hear examples of the benefits of fair trade as well as the disadvantages, or difficulties encountered. As green and fair trade initiatives take off around the world, it is time to look at local as well as global opportunities, and explore some current debates around this theme.
Send us your experiences!
Write to Karen Hampson, editor, at email@example.com
Deadline for submission of draft articles: 1st December 2007.
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