The Economist

Not so fair trade
The Economist

After four years of fieldwork in the coffee, tea and flower sectors in Ethiopia and Uganda, where they gathered 1,700 survey responses and conducted more than 100 interviews, the SOAS researchers found people living in ordinary rural communities enjoyed a higher standard of living than seasonal and casual agricultural workers who received an apparently subsidised wage for producing Fair Trade exports. Women’s wages were especially low among producers selling into Fair Trade markets, according to the researchers.

Comparing areas where the same crops were produced by similar, though not Fair Trade-certified employers, they found that workers received higher wages and benefited from better conditions. This was not because the Fair Trade cooperatives were based in areas with higher or particular disadvantages. The rationale of Fair Trade is that producers of commodities subject to price volatility should be protected through payment of a minimum price to cover living and production costs, a price which adjusts whenever the market shifts above the minimum threshold. In addition to this, traders should pay workers a “social premium” of around 5-10% for development and technical assistance.

The SOAS research suggests that Fair Trade has failed to make a positive difference.

Le commerce équitable est une babiole inventée par les gauchistes. C’est donc sans surprise qu’on réalise, quelques années plus tard, que le commerce équitable rend les gens pauvres. La gauche aime les pauvres, c’est leur base électorale.