Published On: Mon, Dec 16th, 2019

Benefits of Fair Trade in Global Society

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Fair trade has a general, lofty objective to treat people in poor and disadvantaged areas with humanity and equality. However, human rights organizations state that all role players – international bodies, governments, corporations and civil society – must work together to enable fair trade. Without fair trade the inequitable pay and conditions and the exploitation of workers and resources throughout the developing world will continue.

What Do Supporters of Fair Trade Say?

Proponents of fair trade argue that workers in the developing world are being exploited by international companies which seek the lowest labour costs possible in order to increase their profit margins – “poor working conditions, lack of social benefits and safety measures are aimed at maximising profits” (Sengenberger and Campbell, 1994, cited in Barrientos, 1999: 8).

Fair trade supporters claim that workers have the right to share in the gains of globalisation enjoyed by their employers, and that to reduce the social mindset and the notion of human capital to the maxim of “any job is better than none” is degrading, divisive and defeating and “optimizing profits to the detriment of workers is unethical” (Grimes, 2005: 239).

Free Trade Not Sustainable in Developing Economies

Those who argue for fair trade practices say that the employment opportunities lauded by free trade supporters are precarious and unsustainable, as international retail procurement companies do not underwrite their engagement with developing economies. Because they continually search out cheaper labour in the supply chain, moving from region to region to secure cost savings in the production of their goods, the “corporate ideology continues to promise the end of poverty, while enacting policies that undermine social welfare [and] workers rights” (Starr,2000:17).

Corporations Have Social Responsibility

Benefits of Fair Trade in Global Society

Much of the literature supporting fair trade focuses on the observation that there is no social responsibility in many of these employment structures, or employer accountability for the conditions in which workers are expected to provide their services especially in Export Processing Zones (Basu, 2003).

Proponents of international co-ordination of core labour standards in fair trade argue that, in the absence of such policing of human rights conditions of laborers, each country might lower its own standard in an attempt to be more attractive to foreign investment, without proper regard for its work force. The individuals who are forced to accept menial jobs with these outside companies in exchange for low incomes and harsh working conditions are the ones that are left unprotected and without recourse to improve their lives.

How Can Fair Trade Be Improved?

Proponents of fair trade place great emphasis on the consumer’s role in pressuring corporations that do not comply with ethical labor conditions, and they maintain that the private sector should value the rights of workers. The advent and growth of cause-related marketing, ethical shopping and general demand for fair trade are reflected in the global annual increases in fair trade sales (Grimes, 2005: 249; Callinicos, 2003: 75; Bakan, 2004:166)

Fair trade must become a part of international trade regulations and be accepted as a universal standard to properly benefit third world nations and their labor force. Global acceptance of the importance of fair trade will also ensure that companies looking for higher profit margins are not able to simply move on to the next market willing to work for less, due to desperate need.

About the Author

- I am an internet marketing expert with an experience of 8 years.My hobbies are SEO,Content services and reading ebooks.I am founder of SRJ News andTech Preview.

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