Over the past two decades, sales of fair trade coffee have grown significantly and the fair trade network has emerged as an important international development project. Activists and commentators have been quick to celebrate this sales growth, which has allowed socially just trade, labour, and environmental standards and practices to be extended to hundreds of thousands of small farmers and poor rural workers throughout the Global South. While recent assessments of the fair trade network have focused on its impact on local poverty alleviation, however, the broader political-economic and historically rooted structures that frame it have been left largely unexamined. In this study, Gavin Fridell argues that while local level analysis is important, examination of the impacts of broader structures on fair trade coffee networks, and vice versa, are of equal if not greater significance in determining their long-term developmental potential. Using case studies from Mexico and Canada, Fridell examines the fair trade coffee movement at both the global and local level, assessing its effectiveness and locating it within political and development theory.
In addition, Fridell provides in-depth historical analysis of fair trade coffee in the context of global trade, and compares it with a variety of postwar development projects within the coffee industry. Timely, meticulously researched, and engagingly written, this study challenges many commonly held assumptions about the long-term prospects and pitfalls of the fair trade network's market-driven strategy in the era of globalization.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and FiguresAcknowledgmentsAbbreviationsIntroduction: Fair Trade and Global Capitalism The Fair Trade Network and Development Theory The Global and Local Dimensions of Fair Trade CoffeeHistorical and Theoretical Origins of the Fair Trade Network Embedded Liberalism and the Rise of the Fair Trade Movement Neoliberalism and the Decline of the Fair Trade Movement The Fair Trade Network, Phase 1: Promoting Alternative Markets (1940s--1980s) 39 Conclusion: The Theoretical Foundations of the Fair Trade NetworkNeoliberal Globalization and the Fair Trade Network The Fair Trade Network, Phase 2: Reforming Conventional Markets (1988 to the present) Expanding the Fair Trade Market Contemporary Perspectives on the Fair Trade Network Conclusion: The Fair Trade Network and NeoliberalismCoffee and the Capitalist Market A Short History of Coffee and Capitalism The Tendency Towards Monopoly in the North The Extended Cycles of Boom and Bust in the Coffee Market Class, Race, and Gender Exploitation in the Coffee Industry Conclusion: The Historical and Structural Roots of ExploitationCoffee and the 'Double Movement' The International Coffee Agreement (ICA), 1963--1989 Instant Coffee and 'Forward Integration' The Colombian 'Price Premium' Costa Rica: Regulated Coffee Industry and Social Welfare State Fair Trade Coffee in Historical PerspectiveFair Trade in Mexico: The Case of UCIRI Historical Background Assessing UCIRI's Development Project Conclusion: Assessing UCIRI's Capabilities and ConcessionsFair Trade Coffee in Canada The History of Fair Trade Coffee in Canada Comparing the Impact of Fair Trade Partners in the North The Ethical Consumer and Commodity Fetishism Conclusion: The Future of Fair Trade in CanadaConclusion: Fair Trade as Moral Economy Fair Trade as Shaped Advantage Fair Trade as Alternative Globalization Fair Trade as Decommodification Fair Trade as Moral EconomyNotesReferencesIndex
Gavin Fridell is Canada Research Chair in International Development Studies and an associate professor at Saint Mary's University. He is also the author of Fair Trade Coffee: The Prospects and Pitfalls of Market-Driven Social Justice.