maandag 15 november 2010

Fair trade: Pros and cons

Fair trade organisations all agree on the effectiveness of their projects.  The latest successful achievements are uncountable. Almost every shop promotes fair trade products so that developing countries can stimulate their economies.
But critics disagree. In the first place, this is an infringement on the free market mechanism. Second, local farmers indeed receive a fair price for their products, higher than the market price. But a few extra dollars won’t cause enough radical improvements. Fair trade is too small scaled. The extra amount of money they receive doesn’t stimulate industrialisation as much as it actually should. A lack of knowledge limits modernisation. That’s why companies should invest more in agricultural methods. Another criticism is that developing farmers become dependent of Western fair trade organisations and their conscious consumers.
But the fair trade spokeswoman strikes back. Developing countries do spend their money on social projects, education and business projects. New modern infrastructure is built too.
Of course, every system has its shortcomings. But I am convinced the fair trade organisations are doing a great job  in the fight against poverty. We should be proud of fair trade organisations that try to stop poverty from the bottom up. And as long as the local farmers are pleased with the results they achieve, who are we to question the efforts of fair trade organisations?
Justine Bleuze – Group 5

1 opmerking:

  1. My first reaction here was that every time people are confronted with two, rather diverse, alternatives the conclusion always is that, at the end, the golden mean is the best solution. Yet, in this particular situation I’m skeptical about the thought that the free trade model and the fair trade model can ever merge into one ideal system. Is there something like reducing poverty a little bit, giving people a little bit of security or making sure people have a rather ok standard of living? It seems like the golden mean shows lack of commitment when you want to tackle poverty. Or is it just being realistic about it?

    Jules Branswyck – Group 5