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Fair Trade: Dynamic and Dilemmas of a Market Oriented Global Social Movement

John Wilkinson ()

Journal of Consumer Policy, 2007, vol. 30, issue 3, 219-239

Abstract: Fair Trade is analysed as a new economic social movement to the extent that it is based on new forms of collective action and directs its demands primarily to the market rather than to the State. In addition, it is intrinsically a global movement harnessing development goals to new market relations. It differs, however, from similar movements (organics, animal welfare) to the extent that it focuses primarily on traditional issues of redistributive justice rather than a new generation of rights and duties. Fair Trade is understood as having three components: (i) the organization of alternative trading networks; (ii) the marketing of Fair Trade labelled products through licensed conventional traders and retailers; and (iii) the campaign-based promotion of Fair Trade to change both purchasing practices and the rules of conventional trade. As a market oriented movement, Fair Trade relies crucially on the emergence of a new politicization of consumer activity comprising not only “consumer-activists” but also the State as consumer and a new layer of political consumers sensitive to issues of social justice in their daily purchasing practices. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Keywords: Fair Trade; New economic social movement; Consumer-oriented social movement; Social justice through markets; Southern Fair Trade (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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Journal of Consumer Policy is currently edited by Hans Micklitz, John Thøgersen, Lucia A. Reisch, Alan Mathios and Christian Twigg-Flesner

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