Fair Trade Helps Farmers, But Not Their Hired Workers


We want to talk about the fair trade system you know the system web buys in the west offer a guarantee of a high a price to producers in the poor world in exchange for better conditions for workers and that kind of thing so basically the north place mall for better product the south gets more money now the idea is some kind of justice in trade and is more effective for all sides than just doling out development aid to this being a detailed new study of the fat trade cocoa trade in Ivory Coast and it's found that in some respects workers do get better wages and conditions but it also found that labor is lower down the ladder aren't helped by the system a tool the research from Cornell University in the U. S. was eva Marie meme can she explained to me who wins and who doesn't those workers employed by cooperatives benefit from fair trade standards so typically receive higher wages they are much more likely to receive the at least the minimum wage for the agricultural sector they are much more likely to have a written employment contract and they're much more likely not to be cool so we also look at farm workers so those are people who are employed by small holder farmers and refined for those workers fair trade standards don't have an effect so with the respective without that and throwing farmers fair trade certified yes workers received very low wages often not even the minimum wage the which is very unstable throughout the years and now I'm likely to have a written written employment contract and they're also very likely to be poor and bam why is this because they are seasonal casual workers that not part of an organization like a co op the focus on a group or of workers that Loki restore to establish sauce and they are typically employed for you know even longer such short time but not very short right okay and and is is the use of these types of workers is it crucial to the business model of the small fama they couldn't do it without these people yeah that's correct so is about sixty percent of the pharmacist and he also interviewed so employers their higher at least one one worker and those who do hi yeah more than one work and so on and which they had hired to porn for workers so what I would be so but it needs to be done therefore if these casual workers had to the the the conditions and the regularity and the pay and the minimum wage that is guaranteed to other workers wouldn't that put the farmers out of business the small independent pharmacy yeah that's the that's the that's important argument I think cool on the court in other contexts that may be true but in our in our situation these pharmacy actually not that cool and especially if you actually it's certified farmers receive a higher price they also have somewhat higher yields and especially those who employ many workers typically have large land holdings so they are not the poorest of the poor and told me it wouldn't hurt them too much to pay you hi in wages of the on the right side so the chain that you're looking at is that the the fama isn't exploiting these more casual workers and somehow factory owners to make them treat these casual workers better now is is that feasible what to face you can frame it that way or you could you could say that said try this not very successful and changing very traditional labor relations but it works in cooperatives why isn't it working in the in our actual phones so I think one important point is that fair trade standards somewhat smokes near at the corporate took worker level and monitoring works typically very well but when it comes to the farm level it's very difficult to manage or lay the standards on a large number of individual farms so I think the first thing that has to be done is to revise the standards and it be very clear about how labor standards also have to be mad at the farm at the farm level from Cornell University in the US that Sir eva Marie ma'am can who's been looking into the cocoa trade in West Africa fair trade in a statement said that they welcome any research highlighting the challenges faced by farmers and workers they completely acknowledge they say that more needs to be done to make sure that the benefits fair trade reach everyone including those small holder farmers you had that the contras being made between cooperatives which run the larger and the small hold a farm one thing that fair trade say they are doing is they're increasing the minimum price for cocoa by twenty percent starting later

Coming up next