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    Fair Trade for Whom? Certification and the Craft Industry

    Barrett, Annig (2015) Fair Trade for Whom? Certification and the Craft Industry. Research and Perspectives on Development Practice, 18. ISSN 2009-6976

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    This paper draws from a thesis submitted to Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Dublin as one of the requirements for the Masters degree in Development Studies. The research examined the perceptions of craft producers of the impact that Fair Trade certification has had on their organisations. Fair Trade originated with the sale of craft products, but since the emergence of the Fair Trade labeling and certifying organisations, craft has become overshadowed by c ommodities in trade, literature and studies. A study of three craft organisations in The Kingdom of Swaziland certified for between five to seven years was conducted and the motivations, outcomes and perceptions of Fair Trade certification explored. The findings, following a qualitative research approach, indicate beneficial impacts for the organisations, their employees and producers. These include increased market access, participation and increased HIV awareness. There is no evidence of positive impact on worker earnings. The organisations receive no price premium and findings indicate that Fair Trade retailers, whom certification allows access to, frequently require discounts, reducing producer margins. Key obstacles to greater benefits in relation to producer earnings are the current ‘charity’ approach of Fair Trade retailers that result in craft being sold as ‘cheap pity buys’ and the burden of certification costs being borne by producer organisations. A unified approach by the Fair Trade movement to marketing the Fair Trade brand and a repositioning of the Fair Trade retailer image is recommended.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Research and Perspectives on Development Practice Series Paper No. 18
    Keywords: Fair Trade; Certification; Craft Industry; Market Access; Participation; Worker Earnings; Kimmage Development Studies Centre;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > International Development
    Item ID: 9941
    Depositing User: IR Editor
    Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2018 11:16
    Journal or Publication Title: Research and Perspectives on Development Practice
    Publisher: Kimmage Development Studies Centre
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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