Where now for fair trade?

Bob Doherty, Iain A. Davies, Sophi Tranchell

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This paper critically examines the discourse surrounding fair trade mainstreaming, and discusses the potential avenues for the future of the social movement. The authors have a unique insight into the fair trade market having a combined experience of over 30 years in practice and 15 as fair trade scholars. The paper highlights a number of benefits of mainstreaming, not least the continued growth of the global fair trade market (tipped to top $7bn in 2012). However, the paper also highlights the negative consequences of mainstreaming on the long-term viability of fair trade as a credible ethical standard.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-189
Number of pages29
JournalBusiness History
Issue number2
Early online date14 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Sustainability
  • fair trade
  • mainstreaming
  • fair trade organisations
  • supermarket retailers
  • multinational corporations
  • co-optation
  • dilution
  • fair-washing


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