Daily Archives: 13th December

Fairtrade is not Freetrade


Fairtrade products are heavily promoted in my school’s canteen, but Fairtrade is not without it’s faults.

For example:

  • Most of the farmers helped by Fairtrade are in Mexico (HDI: 0.854), a relatively well developed country, rather than in developing countries like Ethiopia (HDI: 0.414) or Côte d’Ivoire (HDI: 0.484).
  • Fairtrade helps landowners, not their workers. Fairtrade coffee farms are not allowed to employ workers full-time, forcing rural poor into unstable short-term contracts that do not guarantee an income.

Further Reading:

  • Sidwell, M. (2008) Unfair Trade, London: Adam Smith Institute (Link)
  • Clemens, M.A. (2007) Smart Samaritans, Council on Foreign Relations, Oxford: Oxford University Press (Link)