Fair trade

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Fair Trade and the Solidarity Economy: the challenges ahead
Summary of the Fair Trade Workshop’s Activities

Fair Trade Workshop, Alliance21 Workgroup on Solidarity Socio-Economy (WSSE),
in collaboration with the
Chair of Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, ESG, UQAM

By Véronique Bisaillon, Corinne Gendron and Marie-France Turcotte
Fair Trade Workshop, Alliance for aResponsible, Plural and United World
Chair of Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, School of Management Sciences, University of Quebec, Montreal

November 2005
Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Emergence and definition of Fair Trade
2.1 Towards a definition of Fair Trade
2.2 The principles and objectives of Fair Trade
2.3 Fair Trade: a commercial partnership
2.4The success of Fair Trade
2.5 Regulators and transformers: two visions of Fair Trade
3. Strategic issues for the Fair Trade movement
3.1 Certification
3.2 Retail practices
3.3 Local development
3.4 The impact of Fair Trade
3.5 Inequalities and Fair Trade
3.6 Communication, circulation of information and information for consumers
3.7 Synergies with other initiatives and movements3.8 Public recognition and international trade
4. Towards a new Fair Trade paradigm rooted in 21st century governance principles
4.1 Governance is based on a territorial approach and the principle of active subsidiarity.
4.2 Governance acts as the vehicle for the establishment of plural communities, from the neighbourhood to the planetary level
4.3 Governance puts the economy in its place4.4 Governance is founded on the universal ethics of responsibility
4.5 Governance defines the cycle of the decision-making and administration process of public policies
4.6 Governance organizes cooperation and synergy between actors
4.7 Governance is the art of designing systems that correspond to the set objectives
4.8 Governance is used to control the flow of exchanges betweensocieties and between societies and the biosphere
4.9 Governance is the art of managing in the long term and anticipating the future
4.10 The effectiveness of governance lies in its legitimacy
5. The outlook for Fair Trade and the Alliance Fair Trade and Ethical Trade Workshop
5.1 Outlook for Fair Trade in the future
5.1.1 Identity and fragmentation of the movement
5.1.2 Fair Trade and theconventional market
5.1.3 The certification/verification system
5.1.4 Relocalisation of trade and the special challenges facing the South
5.1.5 Inserting Fair Trade within broader reform movements
5.1.6 Ontological transformation of the act of consuming and the development of the consumer conscience
5.2 Fair Trade Workshop positioning and programme for the next few years
5.2.1 Workshoppositioning
5.2.2 Proposition of a working programme for the Workshop
Annex A: List of documents used in drawing up the summary report of the activities of the Fair Trade Workshop
Annexe B: Will Fair Trade Change the World?

1. Introduction

Since its creation in 1999, the Workshop has examined the issues surrounding Fair Trade and the challenges it faces, and has made proposals for themovement's development. A list of documents used in compiling this summary report can be found in Annex A; most of these are available via the Workshop's website (fairtrade.socioeco.org). They comprise some 30 documents written by Workshop participants. Special attention is drawn to the Proposal Paper for the 21st Century, published in 2002, and the reports of Fair Trade workshops and discussionsduring the past three World Social Forums

In this summary report of the Workshop's activities we start with a general presentation of Fair Trade: its emergence, definition, principles, objectives and successes. We end the first Section by examining the two dominant visions of the movement as identified by the Workshop. We then move on to describe the strategic challenges facing the movement...