Advocacy Group Publishes Statement in Response to “Fair Trade Employment and Poverty Reduction” Report

June 10, 2014
CONTACT:    Kerstin Lindgren, Ph: 617-680-9862
Email: [email protected]
Lauren Stansbury, Ph: 402-540-1208
Email: [email protected]

Advocacy Group Publishes Statement in Response to “Fair Trade Employment and Poverty Reduction” Report

Fair World Project’s Formal Position Clarifies Misunderstandings of Fair Trade and Demonstrates Positive Impact of Fair Trade Models

PORTLAND, OR – Leading Fair Trade advocacy organization, Fair World Project (FWP), has released a statement in response to the recent report titled, “Fair Trade Employment and Poverty Reduction,” (FTEPR) published by University of London School of Oriental and African Studies in April of 2014. Fair World Project’s formal position expounds on how the FTEPR offers misleading conclusions regarding purported inefficacy of fair trade, as the report critiques fair trade models for failing to solve problems such fair trade was not designed to address. In its response, Fair World Project provides data to demonstrate how fair trade models effect positive impact in countless communities worldwide. Furthermore, it clarifies the definition and scope of fair trade, and identifies the specific solutions offered by fair trade, to ameliorate the detriments of most large-scale global commerce.

The complete statement is available on the Fair World Project website:

“This report did little to evaluate the participating farming communities based on Fair Trade’s stated primary goals, including providing small scale organized farmers an opportunity to compete in a marketplace that favors large scale operations”, says Dana Geffner, Executive Director, “There have been several other academic reports that have demonstrated more positive economic and social impacts in communities that are working in fair trade partnerships.  The report’s findings also demonstrate the need for consumers to support fair brands that are committed to working and building long term relationships with organized small-scale producer groups throughout their supply chains, increasing the likelihood that farmers can sell their entire harvest under fair trade terms.”

“It is unfortunate the authors of the report have concluded from this one limited research study that fair trade doesn’t work.” says Kerstin Lindgren, Campaign Director, “Fair trade is a movement to improve both policies and market opportunities for small-scale farmers. In collaboration with labor justice, sweat-free apparel, and food sovereignty movements we can progress toward a more just economy at both the community level and globally. To imply otherwise on the basis of a single study that is limited in scope and flawed in premise is at best unfortunate and possibly irresponsible. To perpetuate the lie that there is no hope is a disservice to workers, farmers, and consumers.”

Neither a fair trade certifier or brand, Fair World Project is dedicated to raising awareness on fair trade issues and the social movement and market model that empowers small-scale farmers and producers by creating an alternative, equitable trade system in which small scale farmers and producers have fair access to markets by building long-term relationships with buyers and access to means of sustainable development. For more insight to how Fair Trade radically improves quality of life for people around the world, and how dedicated Fair Trade brands are helping to connect conscience-driven consumers with Fair Trade producers, view ‘Fair Trade vs. Free Trade,’ at:

Though variable models and certification programs for “Fair Trade” certification exist, Fair World Project works to educate brands and consumers about the standards reflected in various certification schemes, and how to keep eco-social terms and certifications meaningful and effective.

Download this press-release: 6-10-14 FWP Statement re-FTEPR  (PDF File: 180KB) 


Fair World Project Fair World Project (FWP) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the use of the term “fair trade” in the marketplace, expand markets for authentic fair trade, educate consumers about key issues in trade and agriculture, advocate for policies leading to a just economy, and facilitate collaborative relationships to create true system change. FWP publishes a bi-annual publication entitled For a Better World. For more information, visit:

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