Very Talkative

Posts: 71


Mar 12 07 1:08 PM

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Ok Guys! Since we have plenty of results to work with, I think it is time to start debating ....

I wanna start with a subject mentioned by Fishy here:

economic freedom

How free must the economy be?

Well.. I'll start with my opinion.. Economic Freedom is a tricky concept.. because it seems to be applied only when it is about great sellers in the world.. After all, how free is the economy of a african country that produces some exact products as the US, for example, but because of the american subsidies they dont have space in the international trading?
I honestly think that countries should have selling shares all over the world, according to its needs and stage of development.. Cause, as we can see, this FREE MARKET works only to some nations.
Protecionism should be banned, it only feeds the unfair stage our global market has reached.
Bilateral negociations can be good, and bad... But considering that the big ones make the small ones stay in an unfair position, maybe that's the way for the countries who suffer in this game to raise their heads and keep on selling and buying in acceptable scales.

And economic blocks?? mmmmm depends on their internal and external policies...
An economic block basically formed by countries in the same stage of development or that have a common product are usually more stable internally, since all the members are fighting for a same interest. But blocks like NAFTA are far from being something like that, where is very clear that the advantage is all on the US' hands..

Well.. I'm just starting and throwing up some topics.. who wants to join me?

"morality, such as art, is drawing a line somewhere" O. W.

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#1 [url]

Mar 12 07 9:27 PM

I believe in free markets, free movement of labour and the free flow of capital. The market is the most efficient way of setting prices and for buyers to meet sellers.

I do not understand the comment "I honestly think that countries should have selling shares all over the world, according to its needs and stage of development." I believe that how and what a country produces and sells is determined by the concepts of absolute and comparative advantage.

Unfortunately as Giggles notes we live in an imperfect world and governments intervene in the "national interest" and such protectionism distorts life and benefits neither the global economy nor consumers in the home country. The negative effects as you say tend to be felt disproportionately in the less developed world.

However this does not negate the principle that free markets are the only way forward. With regard to trading blocks (NAFTA, EU, etc) there are a positive development as and reductions to tarriffs and barriers to trade are a step in the right direction.

As a self-declared communist Giggles you must realise that socialist states and left of centre governments that tend to have the most protectionist policies.

Over to you Giggles

You may also like to read this from the Economist in April 2006 - it addresses free trade, and bilateral agreements

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#2 [url]

Mar 13 07 3:41 PM

Well Giggles and Fishy.. I think that we have a perfect test case of the benefits and costs of the free trade model of commodity exchange when we look at this globalized internet sex industry - which is most of the time treated by governments as a legal trade in 'adult content and services, " but sometimes repressed by the police in Eastern Europe as an illegal underground market in online pornogaphy. Should we say that the abundance of attractive women students in the countries of Eastern Europe or Latin America - who are unemployed or underpaid in their domestic labor markets -constitute a some kind of "comparative advantage" in their country's international trade balance? Are their governments are right to "cash them out" either by trafficking them abroad as in the case of the Ukraine or by attracting the real and virtual sex tourists into their countries resort cities and online studios? How does 'free trade" benefit the lives of "working women" in the new Global South that stretches from Sao Paulo to Vladivostok?

So in addition to discussing the legal status of the services of women and men which are being "out-sourced" acronss an international "commodity chain" by transnational internet companies based in the Canada, Cyprus, Holland and the United States, we also must confront the question of labor rights and of labor exploitation in this "global hiring hall." Does the sex industry demonstrate the truth of the lesson that in these globalization stories, western companies are always searching for the lowest cost service providers - to undercut the bargaining position of the workers in their own domestic labor markets? Despite the fact that there are still thousands of Video chats hostesses working in Canada, Holland and the USA, they are already complaining about the competition from Web cam models based in the studios in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Russia. There's plenty of evidence to show that that at least in the sex industry , globalization does mean that [I] "the screw always does turn downwards"
- as far as working hours and payscales of the industry's work force is concerned.

Finally, outsourcing jobs works to cut costs as long as borders are open mainly to the free movement of capital investment; goods and services - but not to the movement of people. The outsourcing of sex is embedded in larger flows of women and men from the Global East and South to the cities of the global north - sometimes as wives and domestic servants but mainly as 'illegal immigrants" who are vulnerable to all kinds of illegal exploitation including "trafficking." Working online is a safe and relatively well paid job for those who can't move to better paying jobs in the Global Metropoles of the North or who choose not for one personal reason or another. But they get paid at local wage rates, while the companies they work for can charge western consumers of their services the going global market price. The price differential is enormous as is the profit rate.

So here on Cam-Girl Notes, I think that we have gathered enough information to ground the discussion of the abstract principle of "free trade and open borders" in the real world by examining the cold facts of the internet sex industry.and how they overlap the related issues of illegal and legal immigration by women, the "outsourcing of employment" from the Global North to the south and the economics of real and virtual sex tourism.
Just a thought..lol
Party on, Dudes!


"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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Very Talkative

Posts: 71

#3 [url]

Mar 13 07 4:25 PM

Fishy, your last post led me to one question, not directly to you, but to everyone:


What is clear is that the "FreeMarket+Protecionism" combo has been a bad combination... Poor economies are still poor and the rich ones are getting richer.
Some exceptions can be named, such as China.... but, HOW FAIR IT IS TO HAVE A NEARLY 10% ECONOMIC GROWTH/YEAR WHEN IT IS BASED ON A WORK THAT PAYS YOU 10 CENTS/HOUR, WITH 12 HOURS SHIFT/DAY, NO ENSURANCE, SOCIAL SECURITY OR BENEFIT? Of course the chinese products are cheap and everywhere, they barely spend with their employees!

I'm not a self-declared communist, but considering the social matters, communism is far better than capitalism.
I'm a self-declared capitalism hatter. Such system puts money in front of people as priority. It's a mentality that will fade by itself: keep mistreating the human "consumers" and soon capitalism wont have them to feed their 'free markets'.

Lovely debate yesterday Fishy! muah!

UL I'll answer your post later.. LoL

"morality, such as art, is drawing a line somewhere" O. W.

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#4 [url]

Mar 13 07 8:46 PM


A thoughtful answer and I agree with you that the sex industry (both virtual and real) does offer an interesting case study. Obviously the real world sex industry is well established (the oldest profession), but historically by its nature was mostly a local enterprise. The virtual sex industry is a very new phenomenon, it is still developing, and only now becoming global.

As with any industry there were early centres of "production" and the prices set were almost plucked out of thin air because there was no idea of demand and willingness to pay and few competitors. The pay and conditions of the girls were defined by the society within which they operated.

However over time, new markets opened, cheaper labour was found and the industry has begun to off-shore. In this respect it is no different from IT or call centres. Therefore it is not surprising that the wages of chat hosts (are we allowed to say hostess or is it forbidden like actress?) working in Holland, Canada and USA came under pressure and have been driven down. This is great for consumers/members, but as you say the the screw always has turned downwards for the hosts.

At the same time the wages earned by the hosts in the "global south", while pitiful compared to those in the north can offer relatively good earning for the hosts in less developed economies. Over time this will have an impact and the wage demands there will rise - it is simple supply and demand.

None of this makes any judgement on the morality, rights or wrongs of the industry. It is simply the way of the world - where there is demand, there will be supply (or sometime supply will create demand) and producers will seek to minimise costs and maximise profits, but over time (and sometimes a very long time) the net benefit is positive and living standards rise accross the board. While this will not ameliorate the loss of earnings for those in the "north", and the bosses will still make all the money, the humble member has more and more affordable choice and the revenues are slowly being spread around the world - slowly trickling down to the host in Ukraine.

In the real world I think of Prague. When I first visited there it was a den of iniquity and frequented by drunken male sex tourists on stag parties, but last time i visited it was much less so. It seems that living standards have increased, expections risen and sex workers can charge much more for their services. Now it is boutiquey (is this a word) and to my mind more pleasant as the drunken tourists are drawn further afield to Tallinn and Riga where costs are much lower.

One final thought, and maybe this is to good to be true, but could the rise of the global virtual sex world with online sexual satisfaction available in a "safe" environment 24/7 lead to a reduction in the numbers of women trafficked illegally and inhumanely?

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#5 [url]

Mar 13 07 10:01 PM

Okay Fishey, we have some points of agreement.. and of disagreement.
I agree that doing sex work online is probably the safest possible way to practice the world's "oldest profession," but since when is it a rational allocation of a nation's human resources to employ its women university students and graduates as online courtesans dedicated to the global sex market?
Also I agree that "hooking on line" is an alternative to immigration abroad; allows one to earn a decent salary ( at least by national standards) and stay at home and in many cases, stay in school. But then again, one might ask - as we have already many times here- whether the virtual sex tourism does help advertise the other sorts - with all its attendant social evils. Yes, Let's look Prague and then at "fuck tourism" in Riga and Tallin.

And yet if we see how the regular women's professions (It, medicine, nursing, teaching etc.) are compensated financially in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, the signal that the global market is sending is something like: "Don't Get Married Girls" Be a Call Girl, Be a Whore - Because marriage (to a local guy) is such a bore.." ( song by Ian Raucherman) Obviously in countries like the Ukraine that are in a deep demographic crisis - where deaths outnumber births by a factor of two to one, - following the world market signals about the best employment for one's young women is quite literally insane.

Obviously this is not just a free trade issue.. this is an opening to the discussion of the real costs and benefits of 'globalization."
Let me quote myself from last summer - and try to put this online industry in a global context - focusing on the issue of who provides the emotional work in this sexual division of labor between men and women.
Quote - from June 22nd.

As one webmaster told me last week, he guessed that maybe 80% of the guys on sex chats were looking for wives and girlfriends - as well as a handjob...

This brings us back to the discussion of online friendships... because the boundaries between niche markets can get blurred... and lonely guys can have multiple agendas... and on your site shopping for something more than just a sex show.

I have been trying to re-think all this internet business by reading a fascinating collection of essays, called Global Women: Nannies, Domestics and Sex Workers edited by Barbara Ehrenreich and published by Owl Books in 2003, which discusses the migration of third world women - many of them professionals - to First World metropoles like New York, London or Tokyo where they do the caring work for children, men, old folks and the sick that many American or European women professionals are now too busy to do...Ehrenreich calls it a "global heart transplant" where we import women immigrants to do the work that American and European wives and mothers used to do before they joined the paid work force full time... [/color]

This also comes up because one personal answer to the issue of the global poverty in one's own neighborhood, (and remember annual income in the Ukraine isn't any better than North Africa or the Central Asian Republics), is to seek a path of individual advancement by just getting up from where you are and going somewhere else - if one can find a helpful "travel agent" that is.

Of course its risky strategy and one must leave loved ones behind, but if one is young and ambitious one can join the global flow that brings 120 million people - half of them women - from the Global South to the metropolis of the North every year... As Laura Augustin, the Spanish sociologist points out, we often applaud when young men do this to seek new job opportunities, but frown and consider it a domestic tragedy or a crime against nature when a young woman makes the same decision and take her chances abroad as a nanny, a nurse, a sex worker or as the second wife.

Perhaps, this global migration is another way to understand the inter-face between human trafficking and the boom in internet outsourcing...because you and so many others – seem to spend most of your time as online social workers administering to the emotional needs of your male visitors - maybe as much time as you spend in private chat catering to our sexual fantasies and obsessions.

So one could argue that what’s going on here is that instead of importing women caretakers to our own cities, we are outsourcing this caring work abroad by making it available on line - without the women care providers who perform this "emotional labor" ever having to leave their home country.

Of course, none of this is cost free - especially for countries like Russia where the birth rate is below the minimal replacement rate (1.17 births per fertile woman, yikes!!) and Russia's population is declining rapidly because not enough young women are becoming the mothers of little Russians. This is a real problem that the Putin government now says is a social emergency that threatens Russia's national security and future social stability. I am sure that this is no less true for the Moldavia or the Ukraine. "Strip-mining" Russian women like a natural resource by marrying them off to foreigners, or hooking them up in virtual relationships on line, obviously doesn't help this situation.

So Mr. Putin has a point. For instance, in order to have 3rd world nannies available for immigration in order to take care of First World kids, their own children must be left at home in somebody else's charge. Similarly the time and energy that cam girls spend on line catering to the emotional needs of bright workers in Wall Street or Silicon Valley is a net deduction from the energy they will have to give to the real people who matter in their everyday lives. And we Westerners can get "virtually" nearly the same level of emotional service work while getting away with paying only the local wages. It’s a new way that the First world exploits the third - this time with a transfer of "emotional capital" from one side of the world to the other – but at a discount rate.

In our brave new cyber world, all the barricades between countries have fallen (at least for those countries who are hooked up to the web), while the compartments between our virtual and real worlds have been breached - which can lead to accidental floods at home when least expected...We talk in the states of a global hiring hall - the source of the complaint about Romanian competition from the American Cam girls that I posted last month - but its also a global marriage brokerage house that can open doors abroad as well as close them at home. And this sometimes lead to much worse things than just doing some foreigners's laundry or cooking his meals, as some highly educated woman in her 20s finds herself tied down with a working stiff from the West who is pushing fifty and on his third wife. But hey, sometimes it works out too.. because the social profiles and cultural backgrounds of the girls and guys who meet on line are not all that different - university educated students and professionals - who have alot in common despite differences in nationality.

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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#6 [url]

Mar 13 07 10:41 PM


I am sure we probably agree on many more things than we disagree, but it is the differences that stand out. I must also apologise for not reading all the posts in all the threads before wading in with my big size 12 feet. So, please forgive me if i rehash old arguments.

I think it can be a completely rational decision for "women university students and graduates to work as online courtesans" - what are their alternatives and do they provide the same financial reward for the same level of work? I do not understand your comment about a "nation" - are you implying the studios are state run enterprises?

Given my upbringing and background, I worry about your use of "regular women's professions" - for me there is no such thing, but maybe it is different in other countries (although not from my experience in the 21st century).

Don't marry a local guy - this is not really a new phenomenon we always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Just think of all the Yanks in Britain during the war - over here, over paid and over sexed. And the fact that most Brits I know would rather date a French woman (any French woman) than a Brit.

However I think the biggest difference between us comes out in the tone you use (and this may just be a language difference), which seems a little paternalistic and mildly judgemental about the decisions they have made and their choice of work.

"following the world market signals about the best employment for one's young women is quite literally insane."

Who is the "one" in this context? Who own's these young women? It could certainly be a very sane decision for the young women concerened, if you do not judge what they do is bad. Following world market signals may cause distress and suffering, but could open many doors for hem in the longer term. Perhaps by allowing them to pay for education.

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#7 [url]

Mar 13 07 11:11 PM

"Paternalistic..." perhaps this is because I am the father of a 23 year old daughter and a mentor to my own students back home - many of whom are from immigrant backgrounds from the Balkan Countries, Russia and the Ukraine..lol
And when we look at "webcam models" one must never forget that 75% of them are just students - some of them still in High School.
But on the substantive point, I have argued many times that for them as individuals "camming" may well be a "disagreeable but rational choice."
The question is what will it mean for their societies ( ie The Baltic Republics, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Moldavia, Romania, Russia and the Ukraine) - and more broadly the European Union - when this first generation of cam models moves on into their adult careers as doctors, lawyers, managers, nurses and teachers or mothers - with this terrible shared secret as part of their memory of their student years?
And oh yes, and with the images of their youthful indiscretions as a permanent part of the memory of the world wide web and available to any future blackmailer?
These are some of the issues we have been grappling with for months here - without any obvious solutions.
Welcome to the club and thanks for helping us think this through rationally.
But at the same time, I don't want to lose sight of the general issue raised by Giggles of "free trade/fair trade" either, so I will come back at this from a slightly higher level of abstraction the next time.

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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#8 [url]

Mar 13 07 11:31 PM

I have no children and was brought up in an environment of equality between the sexes - so maybe this clouds my contributions.

It seems you have undertaken a great deal of research in this topic - to help understand the impact on the societies, do you have any feeling for what proportion of the population we are discussing? Is it significant enough to have any impact?

Please be careful of the emotive language you sometimes use - "terrible shared secret"! or just secret?

On a related note I have been amazed by the seemingly large number of young british women appearing naked or semi-naked in "lads mags", but there does not seem to be any concren about these published photos coming back to haunt them. Does this mean that our society has become much more accepting of naked flesh and sex and that youthful indiscretions are just that?

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#9 [url]

Mar 14 07 2:06 AM

Good question Keith..
How many university students turned to the "courtesan arts" does it take to be truly significant?"
Take a look at my preliminary research findings for some rough estimates about the numbers of people involved in this global industry. But let's take Romania, for instance.. It seems that we are looking at something like 2000 web-cam studios that hire mainly students as web cam models... If we take 20 models as an average studio size (and some are much smaller and others much larger with hundreds of models) then maybe we are talking about 40,000 models working on line in the course of any one year.. Maybe more..out of a total student body of how many university students? Is it one fourth or one sixth of Romania's university students who will do a stint on line at some point in their school years.. I don't know about u, but these kinds of numbers certainly impress me as an indicator of the extent to which working in online porn has become "mainstream" and rather banal.

As for the Czech republic we have identified 50 studios.. some with 70 employees.
So what are we talking here? One thousand? Two thousand cam models? With several hundred involved in certain University towns like Brno?

I dont know for certain.. That's one reason we set up this website - in the hope of getting a better idea of the real size of this industry and its potential impact on societies that are themselves quite small..

As for some of the bigger "service provider" countries like Brazil, Canada, Russia, the Ukraine or the United States, we are looking at the tip of the iceberg - with no real idea of how deep it goes. Maybe this industry employs students in the tens of thousands?

Look at our map of cyber space:"Studio Locations in Europe and Worldwide" in my reading room.. http://camgirlnotes.15.forumer.com/index.php?showtopic=5
to see what we have learned so far about the extent of this global network. And mabe help us figure out a better method for estimating its true dimensions?
P.S. but enough on this. I have taken us way off track.. again. So let's go back to the bigger questions of free trade/fair trade?
P.P.S. BTW, Posing in the nude for The Lads Magazines is one thing, having one's private session with your favorite dildo posted to the web by a fan club where it can be downloaded and exchanged free of any charge, is quite another.

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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#10 [url]

Mar 14 07 9:20 PM

I would tend to agree with Fishy. About 50 studios in Cz Rep, with an average of 20 models per studio, it is only 1 000 camgirls in a country of 10 000 000 people, a proportion of 1 to 10 000. Villages included. This does not look like a global tsunami...

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#11 [url]

Mar 14 07 9:41 PM

oops...what am i doing here? how did i appear on economic debates? i thought i went to forum about camming... whats the..... Maybe some virus on my computer? im all the time find myself on politic forum and now that... camgirlnotes/icon8.gif

I am already given to the power which rule my destiny.
I am holding on to nothing, thats why i have nothing to defend.
I have no thoughts, thats why i will SEE
I am afraid of nothing, thats why i will remember myself.
Silvio Manuel

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#12 [url]

Mar 14 07 9:53 PM

Well Delfina.. we did at least put this in "off topic..." l
And might I point out that it was a model who started this one.. in the spirit of free speech in free chat. lol.
P.S. and you most certainly belong here - since your services and those of your colleagues figure in your country's balance of foreign trade.

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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#14 [url]

Mar 16 07 2:44 PM

Do you mean "fair trade" in cam model sex chat and shows? The way we have already for "fair trade" coffee....and other global commodities? Well, why not?

This is a movement that's far more advanced in the UK than in the States, judging from what I saw in Oxford last summer.. but obviously it's one way to go.. a movement among consumers to insist that affiliated studios meet certain minimum standards in terms of pay scales, working hours and age limits.

I would suggest six minimum standards for an Industry Charter of Fair Practices that web-masters would sign onto in order to limit downward pressures on wages and working hours. The Adult Industry in the US is already under enough pressure from the U.S. Justice Department that a voluntary effort at self-regulation might seem preferable to outright criminal prosecution. One such charter has been already proposed by Adult Video News. My six talking points look like this.

1) I have been shocked by the number of High School students in their senior year who are working in the studios in the Czech Republic, Romanian and Slovakia. In order to avoid this kind of premature exposure to raw displays of male sexual cruelty, I would suggest that we recommend an industry wide ban on hiring high school seniors. A High school diploma in hand should be a minimum condition for signing a contract as a studio model.

2) I am dismayed by the disparities in payscales across this industry around the globe. In order to give the webcam girls and guys some kind of minimal bargaining position that would rein in global wage competition, let's suggest a one euro per minute for private sessions as an industry minimum for all studio cam models working on American, Canadian and Western European web-sites -regardless of studio location. And let's insist on some kind of minimum hourly rate for just doing free chat - let's say at least one euro per hour - something akin to what's already a standard practice for some of the Ukrainian studios.

3) Let's recommend a minimum "public beach standard" for models doing free chat in open rooms. This means showing no more skin than one might see at a local public beach, with absolutely no nudity outside of private sessions. We might also recommend a ban on previews in open rooms - with much more latitude for models to kick beggars on sight . As long as nudity remains a part of a private conversation, it is covered by free speech rights, and the legal charge that studios are "propigating pornography" would have less traction.

4) Let's recommend the legalization of Web-cam studios everywhere,but insist that they be registered with the appropriate tax authorities, that they workers get employment cards and a minimal benefit package - including health and unemployment insurance as is already the case in the larger studios in Bulgaria and Romania.

5) Let's recommend some version of Giggles' idea of a non-renewable contract that would be limited to a 12 month maximum - followed a by a minimum "sabattical" period of several months before a model could sign up again.

6) There ought to be a standard work week of 35 hours - with no double shifts allowed to exceed 12 hours per day.

Just a few thoughts on how to go about putting a minimal floor on the rate of exploitation in this industry.
Reactions, anyone?

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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#15 [url]

Mar 16 07 5:17 PM

What does Fair Trade look like?
Here's the Wikipedia article that Fisheykieth recommended.
Fair trade
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Certified Fair trade quinoa producers in Ecuador.Fair trade is an organized social movement which promotes standards for international labour, environmentalism, and social policy in areas related to production of Fairtrade labeled and unlabelled goods. The movement focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries.

Fair trade's strategic intent is to deliberately work with marginalised producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency. It also aims at empowering them to become stakeholders in their own organizations and actively play a wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade.

Fair trade proponents include a wide array of international religious, development aid, social and environmental organizations such as Oxfam, Amnesty International, and Caritas International.

As most developmental efforts, fair trade has proved itself controversial and has drawn criticism from both ends of the political spectrum. Some economists and conservative think tanks see fair trade as a type of subsidy that impedes growth. Segments of the left criticize fair trade for not challenging enough the current trading system.

In 2005, fair trade certified sales were estimated at €1.1 billion worldwide, a 37 % year-to-year increase.[1] While this represents less than one hundredth of a percentage point of world trade in physical merchandise,[2] fair trade products generally account for 0.5-5% of all sales in their product categories in Europe and North America.[3] In October 2006, over 1.5 million disadvantaged producers worldwide were directly benefiting from fair trade while an additional 5 million benefited from fair trade funded infrastructure and community development projects.[1]

Contents [hide]
1 Definition of fair trade
2 Key fair trade principles
3 General structure of the movement
4 History
4.1 Solidarity trade
4.2 Handcrafts vs. agricultural goods
4.3 Rise of labelling initiatives
4.4 Fair trade today
5 Fairtrade certification and labelling
5.1 Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO) product certification
5.2 IFAT Fair Trade Organization certification
6 Fair trade impact studies
7 Fair trade and politics
7.1 European politics
7.2 French politics
7.3 Italian politics
7.4 Belgian politics
7.5 Scottish Politics
8 Common justifications for fair trade
8.1 Free trade and market failures
8.2 The commodity crisis
8.3 The price distortion concern and the potential benefits of fair trade
9 Criticism
9.1 Price distortion argument
9.2 Mainstreaming argument
10 References
11 See also

[edit] Definition of fair trade
The most widely recognized definition of fair trade was created by FINE, an informal Association of the four main fair trade networks (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, International Fair Trade Association, Network of European Worldshops and European Fair Trade Association):[4]

Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers - especially in the South. Fair trade organizations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.

[edit] Key fair trade principles

Workers sorting and pulping coffee beans on a fair-trade plantation in GuatemalaFair trade advocates generally support the following principles and practices in trading relationships:[5]

Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers
Fair trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalized by the conventional trading system.
Transparency and accountability
Fair trade involves transparent management and commercial relations to deal fairly and respectfully with trading partners.
Capacity building
Fair trade is a means to develop producers’ independence. Fair trade relationships provide continuity, during which producers and their marketing organizations can improve their management skills and their access to new markets.
Payment of a fair price
A fair price in the regional or local context is one that has been agreed through dialogue and participation. It covers not only the costs of production but enables production which is socially just and environmentally sound. It provides fair pay to the producers and takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fairtraders ensure prompt payment to their partners and, whenever possible, help producers with access to pre-harvest or pre-production financing.
Gender equity
Fair trade means that women’s work is properly valued and rewarded. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process and are empowered in their organizations.
Working conditions
Fair trade means a safe and healthy working environment for producers. The participation of children (if any) does not adversely affect their well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play and conforms to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the law and norms in the local context.
Fair trade actively encourages better environmental practices and the application of responsible methods of production.

[edit] General structure of the movement

Fairtrade Certified Rice Producer in ThailandMost fair trade import organizations are members or certified by one or several national or international federations. These federations coordinate, promote and facilitate the work of fair trade organizations. The following are the largest and most influential:

The Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), created in 1997, is the largest and most widely recognized standard setting and certification body for labelled Fairtrade. It regularly inspects and certifies producer organizations in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, encompassing approximately one million families of farmers and workers.
The International Fair Trade Association (IFAT) is a global association created in 1989 of fair trade producer cooperatives and associations, export marketing companies, importers, retailers, national and regional fair trade networks and fair trade support organizations. In 2004 IFAT launched the FTO Mark which identifies registered Fair Trade Organizations (as opposed to the FLO system, which labels products). IFAT has nearly 300 member organizations in over 60 countries.
The Network of European Worldshops (NEWS), created in 1994, is the umbrella network of 15 national Worldshop associations in 13 different countries all over Europe.
The European Fair Trade Association (EFTA), created in 1990, is a network of European fair trade organisations which import products from some 400 economically disadvantaged producer groups in Africa, Asia and Latin America. EFTA's goal is to promote fair trade and to make fair trade importing more efficient and effective. The organization also published yearly various publications on the evolution of the fair trade market. EFTA currently has eleven members in nine different countries.
In 1998, these four federations created together FINE, an informal association whose goal is to harmonize fair trade standards and guidelines, increase the quality and efficiency of fair trade monitoring systems and advocate fair trade politically.

The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is an association of Canadian and American fair trade wholesalers, importers and retailers. The organization links its members to fair trade producer groups while acting as a clearinghouse for information on fair trade and providing resources and networking opportunities to its members.

[edit] History
Main article: History of fair trade
The first attempts to commercialize fair trade goods in Northern markets were initiated in the 1940s and 1950s by religious groups and various politically oriented non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Ten Thousand Villages, an NGO within the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and SERRV International were the first, in 1946 and 1949 respectively, to develop fair trade supply chains in developing countries.[6] The products, almost exclusively handicrafts ranging from jute goods to cross-stitch work, were mostly sold in Worldshops. The goods themselves had often no other function than to indicate that a donation had been made.[7]

[edit] Solidarity trade

Fair Trade goods sold in WorldshopsThe current fair trade movement was shaped in Europe in the 1960s. Fair trade during that period was often seen as a political gesture against neo-imperialism: radical student movements began targeting multinational corporations and concerns that traditional business models were fundamentally flawed started to emerge. The slogan at the time, “Trade not Aid”, gained international recognition in 1968 when it was adopted by the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) to put the emphasis on the establishment of fair trade relations with the developing world.[8]

The year 1965 saw the creation of the first Alternative Trading Organization (ATO): that year, British NGO Oxfam launched "Helping-by-Selling", a program which sold imported handicrafts in Oxfam stores in the UK and from mail-order catalogues.

In 1969, the first Worldshop opened its doors in the Netherlands. The initiative aimed at bringing the principles of fair trade to the retail sector by selling almost exclusively goods produced under fair trade terms in “underdeveloped regions”. The first shop was run by volunteers and was so successful that dozens of similar shops soon went into business in the Benelux countries, Germany and in other Western European countries.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, important segments of the fair trade movement worked to find markets for products from countries that were excluded from the mainstream trading channels for political reasons. Thousands of volunteers sold coffee from Angola and Nicaragua in Worldshops, in the back of churches, from their homes and from stands in public places, using the products as a vehicle to deliver their message: give disadvantaged producers in developing countries a fair chance on the world’s market, and you support their self-determined sustainable development. The alternative trade movement blossomed, if not in sales, then at least in terms of dozens of ATOs being established on both sides of the Atlantic, of scores of Worldshops being set up, and of well-organized actions and campaigns attacking exploitation and foreign domination, and promoting the ideals of Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere and the Nicaraguan Sandinistas: the right to independence and self-determination, to equitable access to the world’s markets and consumers.

[edit] Handcrafts vs. agricultural goods
In the early 1980s, Alternative Trading Organizations faced a major challenge: the novelty of some fair trade products started wearing off, demand reached a plateau and some handicrafts began to look “tired and old fashioned” in the marketplace.[9]The decline of segments of the handicrafts market forced fair trade supporters to rethink their business model and their goals. Moreover, fair trade supporters during this period became increasingly worried by the impact of the fall of agricultural commodity prices on poor producers. Many then believed it was the movement's responsibility to address the issue and to find innovative remedies to react to the ongoing crisis in the industry.

In the subsequent years, fair trade agricultural commodities played an important role in the growth of many ATOs: successful on the market, they offered a much-needed, renewable source of income for producers and provided Alternative Trading Organizations a perfect alternative to the stagnating handicrafts market. The first fair trade agricultural products were tea and coffee, quickly followed by dried fruits, cocoa, sugar, fruit juices, rice, spices and nuts. While in 1992, a sales value ratio of 80 % handcrafts to 20 % agricultural goods was the norm, in 2002 handcrafts amounted to 25.4 % of sales while commodity food lines were up at 69.4 %.[10]

[edit] Rise of labelling initiatives

Early Fairtrade Certifications MarksSales of fair trade products however only really took off with the arrival of the first Fairtrade labelling initiatives. Although buoyed by ever growing sales, fair trade had been generally contained to relatively small Worldshops scattered across Europe and to a lesser extent, North America. Some felt that these shops were too disconnected from the rhythm and the lifestyle of contemporary developed societies. The inconvenience of going to them to buy only a product or two was too high even for the most dedicated customers. The only way to increase sale opportunities was to start offering fair trade products where consumers normally shop, in large distribution channels.[11] The problem was to find a way to expand distribution without compromising consumer trust in fair trade products and in their origins.

A solution was found in 1988, when the first Fairtrade labelling initiative, Stichting Max Havelaar, was created under the initiative of Nico Roozen, Frans Van Der Hoff and Dutch development NGO Solidaridad. The independent certification allowed the goods to be sold outside the Worldshops and into the mainstream, reaching a larger consumer segment and boosting fair trade sales significantly. The labeling initiative also allowed customers and distributors alike to track the origin of the goods to confirm that the products were really benefiting the producers at the end of the supply chain.[12]

The concept caught on: in the ensuing years, similar non-profit Fairtrade labelling organizations were set up in other European countries and North America. In 1997, a process of convergence among labelling organizations – or “LIs” (for “Labelling Initiatives”) – led to the creation of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International. FLO is an umbrella organization whose mission is to set the Fairtrade standards, support, inspect and certify disadvantaged producers and harmonize the Fairtrade message across the movement.

In 2002, FLO launched a new International Fairtrade Certification Mark. The goals of the launch were to improve the visibility of the Mark on supermarket shelves, facilitate cross border trade and simplify procedures for both producers and importers. At present, over 16 FLO International member labelling initiatives use the International Fairtrade Certification Mark. There are now Fairtrade Certification Marks on dozens of different products, based on FLO’s certification for coffee, tea, rice, bananas, mangoes, cocoa, cotton, sugar, honey, fruit juices, nuts, fresh fruit, quinoa, herbs and spices, wine and footballs etc.

[edit] Fair trade today
Global fair trade sales have soared over the past decade. The increase has been particularly spectacular among Fairtrade labelled goods: in 2005, these sales amounted to approximately €1.1 billion worldwide, a 37 % year-to-year increase.[13] As per October 2006, 586 producer organizations in 58 developing countries were FLO-CERT Fairtrade certified and over 150 were IFAT registered.[14][15]

[edit] Fairtrade certification and labelling

International Fairtrade Certification Mark
Fair Trade Certified Mark (USA & Canada)
IFAT Fair Trade Organization MarkMain article: Fairtrade certification

[edit] Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO) product certification
Note: Customary spelling of Fairtrade is one word when referring to the FLO product labelling system

Fairtrade labelling (usually simply Fairtrade or Fair Trade Certified in the US) is a certification system designed to allow consumers to identify goods which meet agreed standards. Overseen by a standard-setting body (FLO International) and a certification body (FLO-CERT), the system involves independent auditing of producers and traders to ensure the agreed standards are met.

For a product to carry either the International Fairtrade Certification Mark or the Fair Trade Certified Mark, it must come from FLO-CERT inspected and certified producer organizations. The crops must be grown and harvested in accordance with the international Fairtrade standards set by FLO International. The supply chain must also have been monitored by FLO-CERT, to ensure the integrity of labelled products.

Fairtrade certification guarantees not only fair prices, but also the principles of ethical purchasing. These principles include adherence to ILO agreements such as those banning child and slave labour, guaranteeing a safe workplace and the right to unionise, adherence to the United Nations charter of human rights, a fair price that covers the cost of production and facilitates social development, and protection and conservation of the environment. The Fairtrade certification system also promotes long-term business relationships between buyers and sellers, and greater transparency throughout the supply chain.

The Fairtrade certification system covers a growing range of products, including bananas, honey, coffee, oranges, cocoa, cotton, dried and fresh fruits and vegetables, juices, nuts and oil seeds, quinoa, rice, spices, sugar, tea and wine. Companies offering products that meet the Fairtrade standards may apply for licences to use one of the Fairtrade Certification Marks for those products.

The International Fairtrade Certification Mark was launched in 2002 by FLO, and replaced twelve Marks used by various Fairtrade labelling initiatives. The new Certification Mark is currently used worldwide (with the exception of Canada and the United States).

The Fair Trade Certified Mark, used in Canada and in the United States, also still identifies Fairtrade goods in both countries. Full transition to the new Mark should become reality in the future as it gradually replaces the old Certification Marks in both countries.

[edit] IFAT Fair Trade Organization certification
In an effort to complement the Fairtrade product certification system and allow most notably handcraft producers to also sell their products outside worldshops, the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT) launched in 2004 a new Mark to identify fair trade organizations (as opposed to products in the case of FLO International and Fairtrade). Called the FTO Mark, it allows consumers to recognize registered Fair Trade Organizations worldwide and guarantees that standards are being implemented regarding working conditions, wages, child labour and the environment.

The FTO Mark gave for the first time all Fair Trade Organizations (including handcrafts producers) definable recognition amongst consumers, existing and new business partners, governments and donors.

[edit] Fair trade impact studies
Several independent studies have recently measured the impact of fair trade on disadvantaged farmers and workers.

In 2002, Loraine Ronchi of the Poverty Research Unit at the University of Sussex studied the impact of fair trade on the Coocafe cooperative in Costa Rica. Ronchi found that fair trade strengthened producer organizations and concluded that "in light of the coffee crisis of the early 1990s, fair trade can be said to have accomplished its goal of improving the returns to small producers and positively affecting their quality of life and the health of the organisations that represent them locally, nationally and beyond".[16]

In 2003, the Fair Trade Research Group at Colorado State University conducted seven case studies of Latin American Fairtrade coffee producers (UCIRI, CEPCO, Majomut, Las Colinas & El Sincuyo La Selva, Tzotzilotic and La Voz) and concluded that Fair Trade has "in a short time greatly improved the well-being of small-scale coffee farmers and their families"[17] The various case studies most notably found that producers had under Fair Trade greater access to credit and external development funding.[18] The studies also found that Fair Trade producers had, compared to conventional coffee producers, greater access to training and enhanced ability to improve the quality of their coffee.[19]. Families of Fair Trade producers were also said to be more stable and children had better access to education than in families growing conventional coffee.[20]

A case study of Bolivian coffee Fair Trade producers published by Nicolas Eberhart for French NGO Agronomes et Vétérinaires sans frontières in 2005 concluded that Fair Trade certification has had in the Yungas a positive impact on local coffee prices, thus economically benefiting all coffee producers (Fairtrade certified or not). Fair Trade was also said to have strengthened producer organizations and increased their political influence.[21]

An econometric analysis conducted by Becchetti and Costantino (2006) verified the impact of Fair Trade affiliation on monetary and non monetary measures of well-being on a sample of Kenyan farmers. The researchers compared a control sample group of farmers to Fair trade certified groups and Meru herbs farmers. Becchetti and Costantino documented the following: during the same period, Fair trade farmers were more successful in diversifying their production, experienced a significant drop in child mortality, improvements in terms of monthly household food consumption, greater satisfaction in terms of prices obtained for their crop, living conditions etc. Methodological problems such as the relative contribution of Fair Trade and Meru herbs farmers, control sample bias, Fair trade and Meru Herb selection biases are discussed and addressed showing that ex ante selection of Meru members contributes to explain some but not all the results of the study. [22]

A sociological research published by Virginie Diaz Pedregal (2006) analyzes practices of exchange and the effects of « fair division » in coffee organizations using fair trade in the Andean context (Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia). The study deals with the way beneficiaries perceive fair trade, and its importance within the communities. Positive and negative effects of fair trade are discussed. [23]

[edit] Fair trade and politics

[edit] European politics

Display of Fairtrade products at the Derbyshire County Council head officeAs early as 1994, the European Commission prepared the “Memo on alternative trade” in which it declared its support for strengthening Fair Trade in the South and North and its intention to establish an EC Working Group on Fair Trade. Furthermore, the same year, the European Parliament adopted the “Resolution on promoting fairness and solidarity in North South trade” (OJ C 44, 14.2.1994), a resolution voicing its support for fair trade.

In 1996, the Economic and Social Committee adopted an “Opinion on the European “Fair Trade” marking movement”. A year later, in 1997, the document was followed by a resolution adopted by the European Parliament, calling on the Commission to support Fair Trade banana operators. The same year, the European Commission published a survey on “Attitudes of EU consumers to Fair Trade bananas”, concluding that Fair Trade bananas would be commercially viable in several EU Member States.[24]

In 1998, the European Parliament adopted the “Resolution on Fair Trade” (OJ C 226/73, 20.07.1998), which was followed by the European Commission|Commission in 1999 that adopted the “Communication from the Commission to the Council on “Fair Trade” COM(1999) 619 final, 29.11.1999.

In 2000, public institutions in Europe started purchasing Fairtrade Certified coffee and tea. Furthermore, that year, the Cotonou Agreement made specific reference to the promotion of Fair Trade in article 23 g) and in the Compendium. The European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/36/EC also suggested promoting Fair Trade.[24]

In 2001 and 2002, several other EU papers explicitly mentioned fair trade, most notably the 2001 Green Paper on Corporate Social Responsibility and the 2002 Communication on Trade and Development.

In 2004, the European Union adopted the “Agricultural Commodity Chains, Dependence and Poverty – A proposal for an EU Action Plan”, with a specific reference to the Fair Trade movement which has “been setting the trend for a more socio-economically responsible trade.” (COM(2004)0089).

In 2005, in the European Commission communication “Policy Coherence for Development – Accelerating progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals”, (COM(2005) 134 final, 12.04.2005), Fair Trade is mentioned as “a tool for poverty reduction and sustainable development”.[24]

And finally, on July 6, 2006, the European Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution on Fair Trade, recognizing the benefits achieved by the Fair Trade movement, suggesting the development of an EU-wide policy on Fair Trade, defining criteria that need to be fulfilled under Fair Trade to protect it from abuse and calling for greater support to Fair Trade (EP resolution “Fair Trade and development”, 6 July 2006)

"This resolution responds to the impressive growth of Fair Trade, showing the increasing interest of European consumers in responsible purchasing," said Green MEP Frithjof Schmidt during the plenary debate. Peter Mandelson, EU Commissioner for External Trade, responded that the resolution will be well-received at the Commission. "Fair Trade makes the consumers think and therefore it is even more valuable. We need to develop a coherent policy framework and this resolution will help us."[25]

[edit] French politics
In 2005, French parliament member Antoine Herth issued the report “40 proposals to sustain the development of Fair Trade”. The report was followed the same year by a law, proposing to establish a Commission to recognize Fair Trade Organisations (article 60 of law no. 2005-882, Small and Medium Enterprises, 2 August 2005).[26]

In parallel to the legislative developments, also in 2006, the French chapter of ISO (AFNOR) adopted a reference document on Fair Trade after five years of discussion.

[edit] Italian politics
In 2006, Italian lawmakers started debating how to introduce a law on fair trade in Parliament. A consultation process involving a wide range of stakeholders was launched early October.[27]

[edit] Belgian politics
Belgian lawmakers have started discussing in 2006 a possible legislation on fair trade.[28]

[edit] Scottish Politics
In March 2007, First Minister Jack McConnell of the Scottish Parliament pledged that Scotland would become a "Fair Trade Nation".

[edit] Common justifications for fair trade

Fairtrade certified products sold in Germany.Implicit and often explicit in fair trade is a criticism of the current organization of international trade as being "unfair". Fair trade advocates often justify the need for fair trade by mentioning the microeconomic market failures of our system and the current commodity crisis and its impact on developing country producers.

[edit] Free trade and market failures
All FINE members and fair trade federations support in theory the principles of unhindered free trade. However, as Alex Nicholls, social entrepreneurship professor at Oxford University, points out, the "key conditions on which classical and neo-liberal trade theories are based are notably absent in rural agricultural societies in many developing countries."[29] Perfect market information, perfect access to markets and credit, and the ability to switch production techniques and outputs in response to market information are fundamental assumptions which "are fallacious in the context of agricultural producers and workers in developing countries".[29]

The absence of these microeconomic conditions can nullify or even reverse the potential gains to producers from trade. While Nicholls agrees that the win-win situation for all actors involved may be broadly correct in some markets, nevertheless, "within developing countries market conditions are not such that producers can unambiguously be declared to be better off through trade."[29] The existence of these market failures lessens the capacity trade has to lift developing countries out of poverty.

Fair trade is seen as an attempt to address these market failures by providing producers a stable price for their crop, business support, access to premium Northern markets and better general trading conditions.

[edit] The commodity crisis
Fair trade advocates also often point out that unregulated competition in global commodity markets ever since the 1970s and 1980s has encouraged a price "race to the bottom". During the 1970-2000 period, prices for many of the main agricultural exports of developing countries, such as sugar, cotton, cocoa and coffee, fell by 30 to 60 percent.[30] According to the European Commission, “the abandonment of international intervention policies at the end of the 1980s and the commodity market reforms of the 1990s in the developing countries left the commodity sectors, and in particular small producers, largely to themselves in their struggle with the demands of the markets”. Today, “producers… live an unpredictable existence because the prices for a wide range of commodities are very volatile and in addition follow a declining long-term trend”.[31] The total loss for developing countries due to falling commodity prices has been estimated by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) to total almost $250 billion during the 1980-2002 period.[24]

Millions of poor farmers are dependent on commodities and on the price they receive for their harvest. In about 50 developing countries, three or fewer primary commodity exports constitute the bulk of export revenue.

Many farmers, often without other means of subsistence, are obliged to produce more and more, no matter how low the prices are. Research has shown that those who suffer most from declines in commodity prices are the rural poor — i.e. the majority of people living in developing countries. Basic agriculture employs over 50% of the people in developing countries, and accounts for 33% of their GDP.[32]

Fair trade supporters believe current market prices do not properly reflect the true costs associated with production; they believe only a well-managed stable minimum price system can cover environmental and social production costs.

[edit] The price distortion concern and the potential benefits of fair trade
A main criticism of fair trade is that it generates price distortions on commodity market prices, providing a wrong incentive for producers to invest resources inefficiently in a product for which there is scarce demand. According to some recent theoretical work in this field there are two theoretical fallacies behind this kind of reasoning [33].

First, in many cases the exchange between producers and intermediaries does not occur in a competitive framework. In such case the market price is a distortion because it does not reflect the productivity of producers but their lower market power.
Second, the food industry produces highly differentiated products with a continuous wave of innovations which create new varieties. There is not one single coffee but instead many different coffee products which are differentiated from one another in terms of quality, blends, packaging, and now also "social responsibility" features. For each of these products there exists a specific and different market price which is determined by consumer taste for that kind of product (which for fair trade coffees does not seem to be weak or declining). In this sense, fair trade is an innovation in the food industry which creates a new range of products.
Beyond these elements it is important to also take into account all the potential benefits of the fair trade value chain in terms of provision of local public goods, technical assistance which strengthens producers market capabilities, democratization of markets through increasing consumer power etc.

[edit] Criticism
Main article: Fair trade debate
Fair trade's increasing popularity has drawn criticism from both ends of the political spectrum. Different arguments are used by those who favour and by those who oppose fair trade, or feel that more strict standards and higher fair trade prices are needed. These arguments can be divided in four broad categories:

The price distortion argument, advocated by the Globalisation Institute, the Adam Smith Institute, the Cato Institute, and The Economist magazine, calling fair trade a "misguided attempt to make up for market failures" encouraging market inefficiencies and overproduction.
The scope of fair trade argument, not explicitly criticizing the ideals behind fair trade, but rather the current certification and pricing systems.
The trade justice argument, championed by French author and broadcaster Jean-Pierre Boris, criticizing fair trade for stopping short of actively advocating immediate trade policy changes that would have a larger impact on disadvantaged producers' lives.
The mainstreaming argument, defended by French author Christian Jacquiau, which criticizes the fair trade movement for working within the current system (i.e. partnerships with mass retailers, multinational corporations etc.) rather than establishing a new fairer, fully autonomous trading system.

[edit] Price distortion argument

Effects of a Price FloorSimilar to other farm subsidies, fair trade attempts to set a price floor for a good that is in many cases above the market price and therefore encourages existing producers to produce more and new producers to enter the market, leading to excess supply. Through the laws of supply and demand, excess supply can lead to lower prices in the non Fair Trade market.

While critics of Fair Trade usually recognize the idea was based on "the best of intentions", it might in fact, "makes things worse".[34] Singleton's comments echo the main criticisms of Fair Trade, that "it also leads fair trade producers to increase production. While benefiting a number of Fair Trade producers over the short run, fair trade critics worry about the impact on long run development and economic growth. The reason coffee prices are so low on the world markets is that there is too much production. By encouraging even more supply of coffee, fair trade makes the world price fall further. This makes the vast majority of coffee producers worse off. It also focuses us away from dealing with the real, long term solutions." Though the adjustment progress is difficult, this creative destruction is a core component of economic growth. By stopping price signals, fair trade may encourage inefficient activities that will not lift the world's poor out of poverty over the long run. In 2003, Cato Institute senior fellow Brink Lindsey referred to fair trade as a “well intentioned, interventionist scheme...doomed to end in failure." Fair trade, according to Lindsey, is a misguided attempt to make up for market failures in which one flawed pricing structure is replaced with another.[35]

[edit] Mainstreaming argument
On the other end of the spectrum, some believe the fair trade system is not radical enough. French author Christian Jacquiau, in his book Les coulisses du commerce équitable, calls for stricter fair trade standards and criticizes the fair trade movement for working within the current system (i.e. partnerships with mass retailers, multinational corporations etc.) rather than establishing a new fairer, fully autonomous trading system. Jacquiau is also a staunch supporter of significantly higher fair trade prices in order to maximize the impact, as most producers only sell a portion of their crop under fair trade terms.[36]

Another French author, Virginie Diaz Pedregal, presents some philosophical theories regarding domestic and international justice to explain fair trade movements. Without taking personal part in the debate, the author exposes her thesis about the reasons underlying dissensions between groups practicing fair trade. The standpoint is that its stakeholders refer to divergent justice principles arising from dissimilar and hardly compatible social ideals.[37]

[edit] References
^ a b Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (2006). Fairtrade FAQs URL accessed on December 14, 2006.
^ [1] p. 3, The World Trade Organisation publishes annual figures on the world trade of goods and services.
^ FINE. (2005) Fair Trade in Europe 2005: Facts and Figures on Fair Trade in 25 European countries. Brussels: Fair Trade Advocacy Office
^ European Fair Trade Association. (2006). Definition of Fair Trade URL accessed on August 2, 2006.
^ International Fair Trade Association (2006). Key Principles of Fair Trade URL accessed on August 2 2006.
^ International Fair Trade Association. (2005).Crafts and Food. URL accessed on August 2, 2006.
^ Hockerts, K. (2005). The Fair Trade Story. p1
^ International Fair Trade Association. (2005). Where did it all begin? URL accessed on August 2, 2006.
^ Redfern A. & Snedker P. (2002) Creating Market Opportunities for Small Enterprises: Experiences of the Fair Trade Movement. International Labor Office. p6
^ Nicholls, A. & Opal, C. (2004). Fair Trade: Market-Driven Ethical Consumption. London: Sage Publications.
^ Renard, M.-C., (2003). Fair Trade: quality, market and conventions. Journal of Rural Studies, 19, 87-96.
^ Redfern A. & Snedker P. (2002) Creating Market Opportunities for Small Enterprises: Experiences of the Fair Trade Movement. International Labor Office. p7
^ Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (2005). FLO Annual Report 2005. URL accessed on August 4, 2006.
^ Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (2006). FLO October 2006 News Bulletin. URL accessed on October 30, 2006.
^ IFAT. (2006) The FTO Mark. URL accessed on October 30, 2006.
^ Ronchi, L. (2002). The Impact of Fair Trade on Producers and their Organizations: A Case Study with Coocafe in Costa Rica. University of Sussex. p25-26.
^ Murray D., Raynolds L. & Taylor P. (2003). One Cup at a time: Poverty Alleviation and Fair Trade coffee in Latin America. Colorado State University, p28
^ Taylor, Pete Leigh (2002). Poverty Alleviation Through Participation in Fair Trade Coffee Networks, Colorado State University, p18.
^ Murray D., Raynolds L. & Taylor P. (2003). One Cup at a time: Poverty Alleviation and Fair Trade coffee in Latin America. Colorado State University, p8
^ Murray D., Raynolds L. & Taylor P. (2003). One Cup at a time: Poverty Alleviation and Fair Trade coffee in Latin America. Colorado State University, p10-11
^ Eberhart, N. (2005). Synthèse de l'étude d'impact du commerce équitable sur les organisations et familles paysannes et leurs territoires dans la filière café des Yungas de Bolivie. Agronomes et Vétérinaires sans frontières, p29.
^ L. Becchetti,, M. Costantino (2006). Fair Trade on marginalised producers: an impact analysis on Kenyan farmers, working paper CEIS 220 and working paper ECINEQ2006
^ Diaz Pedregal, Virginie (2006). Commerce équitable et organisations de producteurs. Le cas des caféiculteurs au Pérou, en Equateur et en Bolivie. Paris, L'Harmattan
^ a b c d FINE (2006). Business Unusual. Brussels: Fair Trade Advocacy Office
^ Frithjof Schmidt MEP (2006). Parliament in support of Fair Trade URL accessed on August 2, 2006.
^ FINE (2006). Business Unusual. Brussels: Fair Trade Advocacy Office
^ Nembri, Antonietta (October 4, 2006) Equo e solidale: un convegno sul futuro normativo. URL accessed on October 28, 2006.
^ FINE (2006). Business Unusual. Brussels: Fair Trade Advocacy Office
^ a b c Nicholls, A. & Opal, C. (2004). Fair Trade: Market-Driven Ethical Consumption. London: Sage Publications. p17-19
^ Agricultural Commodity Chains, Dependence and Poverty. A proposal for an EU Action Plan. European Commission, 2004.
^ Agricultural Commodity Chains, Dependence and Poverty. A proposal for an EU Action Plan. European Commission, 2004.
^ UNCTAD Press Release, “UNCTAD Calls For Policy Changes to Avoid Throwing World Economy Into Recession,” 25 August 1998.
^ L.Becchetti F.C. Rosati, 2006, Globalisation and the death of distance in social preferences ad inequity aversion: empirical evidence from a pilot study on fair trade consumers, CEIS Working Paper, n.216 and World Economy (forth.) and[2]
^ Singleton, A: "The poverty of fair trade.", Adam Smith Institute, 2005
^ Brink, Lindsey. (2004). Grounds for Complaint. URL accessed on September 25, 2006.
^ Jacquiau, Christian. (2006). Les Coulisses du Commerce Équitable. Éditions Mille et Une Nuits. Paris.
^ Diaz Pedregal, Virginie. (2007). Le Commerce Equitable Dans la France Contemporaine. Idéologies et Pratiques. Paris: L'Harmattan.

[edit] See also
Fair trade topics Fair trade | History of fair trade | Fairtrade certification | Fair trade and politics | Fair trade impact studies | Fair trade debate | Alternative trading organization | Trade justice | Worldshop | Black Gold (film) | One Cup (film)
Federations Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International | International Fair Trade Association | Network of European Worldshops | European Fair Trade Association | FINE | Fair Trade Federation
Certification FLO International (standard-setting & producer support) | FLO-CERT (inspection & certification) | International Fairtrade Certification Mark | Fair Trade Certified Mark

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#16 [url]

Mar 16 07 7:07 PM

Brrr UL you should learn a little about marketing. The mere length of your post deters me from reading it. I know that in academe the golden rule is "publish or perish", but honestly, don't you think that your purpose would have been better served by a simple link to the wikipedia article url ?

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#17 [url]

Mar 16 07 9:55 PM

The link is already there..
And my own post is quite short.. maybe we should focus on that.
If people want we can always delete the post from Widipedia if enough people find it unnecessary, but I thought it might be useful to have it handy.

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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#18 [url]

Mar 17 07 2:17 AM

I do agree with the items you posted as "I would suggest six minimum standards for an Industry Charter of Fair Practices" I agree with all but the sabbatical. If an individual is able to handle the stress then they should be allowed to work. It might be good to have a pre-screening psychological evaluation and a renewal evaluation.

As far as I can see fair trade is nothing but a load of crap. The major corporations are simply outsourcing product in order to drop the wage and benefits’ of a higher paying country. Fair trade has lost the U.S. 1000's of jobs while paying workers in other countries less money with no health care and no pollution standards. I know that is part of the fair trade policy but even with Kyoto there is no standard policy on acceptable levels of pollution. Fare trade is the biggest load of crap there is. In order to equalize the rate of pay you drop all the rates of pay. Could one not argue that based on the countries economic level there is already an equality of pay.

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