Monday, 2 June 2008

Is Fair Trade unfair?

From the Christian Research Briefing:

FairTrade is “unfair”

The Adam Smith Institute (ASI), a leading free market think-tank has published a report “Unfair Trade” that criticises Fairtrade for doing little to aid economic development, focusing instead on sustaining farmers in their current state. ASI argues that free trade is the most effective poverty reduction strategy. However, Christian organisations in support of Fairtrade products have slammed ASI’s claims that the scheme is little more than ‘marketing hype’. Both Christian Aid and Tearfund say the criticisms are unfounded and that Fairtrade is improving the lives of thousands in developing countries. “Unfair Trade” can be download from and some of the criticisms of it can be found on

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Darren said...

ASI may have a point, but isn't the problem that there is no "Free Trade" because of US & EU (& other economic giants) tax inports in such a way that causes 3rd world manufacturers and producers huge problems.

Darren Moore

Barbara Crowther said...

You can read the Fairtrade Foundation's response at

There is also a really interesting and very full critique of this report's methodology and lack of real evidence by Alastair Smith at BRASS (Cardiff University's Business Research centre)for those who'd like to understand more. You can read this at