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Fair Trade - Article Review

6 pages
1445 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
Article review
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Topic Background

Free trade and fair trade are economic concepts that have centralized debates both in the political, social and economic arena. The economy of nations and production efficiency have been paralyzed due to politically motivated policies imposed by leaders of developed countries hence interfering with the stability and economic growth of emerging and developing states. The selfish interests of the nations have been considered more, and that which safeguards the interest of the planet and the people in it have been neglected. The fact that leaders have overlooked the interest of the globe but focused on the means to take advantage of power diffusion and maximize profits through exploitation of resources from developing countries has formed the basis of my choice. My interest is to emphasize on the growing need of market integration through reduced trade restrictions, relaxation of governmental and non-governmental barriers while placing the interest of the people and the environmental needs at the forefront.

What is a fair trade?

It is a model, policy or a doctrine that ensures sustainable and ethical trade that places the interest of the people and that of the planet ahead of any other.It is a doctrine that is largely never considered in the political arena, and it possesses the following principles;

Income sustainability

It holds that income should satisfy the household requirements regardless of the market prices. The standards ensure that farmers, workers, producers, and fishers have funds needed for purposes of investment in the work.


It empowers the community members to make best choices their gains and that of the community.

Community and Individual well-being

It holds that in a circumstance where the people invest wisely for their future, the likely outcome is healthier labor force and enhanced quality of products.

Environmental Stewardship

It is motivated to maintain the health status of the planet for the coming generations with a motive of prohibiting harmful chemicals and taking care of the natural resources.

Creation of opportunities

Fair trade has the mandate of ensuring that the all the disadvantaged in the community access similar opportunities and of benefit just like others. The motive is to ensure equality and equity inn access to trading facilities.

Transparency and accountability

Fair trade is deeply rooted in transparency and accountability that propels it towards equity attainment.

Empowerment is the most critical of the principles as it enables individuals in the society to stand for themselves and demand that which they consider is good for individual, community and future generation.


Based on the article, it is argued that fair trade has an advantage to the small-scale farmers in the sense that they have a potential of developing global benefits through the reception of guaranteed fair prices as the surrounding is relieved from intensive industrial work. The objective is to ensure that the local farmers are also operating as usual in the market and are not largely affected by the invisible market forces in the global trade. On the contrary, it is argued that consumers pay to the extreme and the returns are bound to be good regardless of the market price.

I conquer with the argument in the sense that, fair trade is focused on ensuring the interests of all the people and that of the environment is considered. In this case, the small-scale producer who is not operating at the global market will still be considered in pricing so as not to exit the market due to lack of competition. Furthermore, by ensuring good pricing the interests of the local community and even that of the environment is bound to be healthier, but importantly farmers will not end up in losses as it is the case of other trade policies.


Even though fair trade is considered as a perfect business approach to help the local farmers, it might not entail certain critical aspects necessary for the operations of the business. Some of the reforms considered by Glazer, involves increased access to the marginalized by the funding organizations, safety that is, security in the areas of operations and the working conditions and finally the price premiums. These are just a number of avenues that if incorporated in to the market infrastructure night boost the performance of local farmers more compared to the conceptions held by the fair trade.


From 2013 and beyond,  is likely to collapse due to the growing selfish interest and power diffusion making nations to form tight trade policies that do not create fairness in the market. The fact that other powerful nations are emerging do not breed fairness in the market as the motive of fair trade is to secure the interest of all nations and farmers regardless of their size. The need for market dominance, competition and profit maximization that is emerging as a current global trend breeds the unfairness and total exploitation of environmental resources hence the failure of fair trade in the future.

To boost the financial potential and trading efficiency of the small-scale traders, the following should be considered as alternative solutions.

First, the government should provide incentives to small-scale producers to boost their production potential. In this case, the motive of the government is to ensure that, the local farmers are boosted financially to ensure that they are capable of effectively meeting their financial requirements

Second is the formation of trade unions that could collect locally produced goods and sell in the global market. It is aimed at ensuring that the local farmers also access the better deals similar to those acquired by the large-scale producers who have direct access to the global market.


Fair trade has the following pros; first, is the humane working environment, fair wages, there is a minimum payment which is guaranteed and importantly is the safety of the working condition. Furthermore, the middlemen are completely avoided, profit is quite high, decision making is quick and ensures environmental sustainability for the sake of future generations.

Cons of the fair trade include; the market is small, the expense linked to certification may be unaffordable for the local farmers. Also, individuals tend to be disadvantaged compared to cooperatives; raw products are favored, increased associations with multinational firms and it fail to determine core market problems.

3. Article Search.

The two articles related to the topic of free and fair trade are: Donald Trump targets globalization and free trade as job-killers by David Jackson of USA Today and More Wealth, More Jobs, but Not for Everyone: What Fuels the Backlash on Trade by Peter s. Goodman of The New York Times.

In this search, I used Google search engine because Google has dominated the market of such engines for years hence the domain is highly trusted and perceived as credible. Additionally, Google ranks top of all search engines.

The keywords I used include free trade and fair trade. The Search statement is Free, fair trade and globalization.

4. Article Evaluation

a). David Jackson of USA today is the author of the article titled Donald Trump targets globalization and free trade as job-killers. Jackson has higher credentials as he has reported for more than thirty years in addition to having written a series of articles covering stories from the white house. Similarly, Peter Goodman of the New York Times has a lot of experience in writing about trade and financial issues and has been credited for comprehensive coverage.

b). All the two articles balance well as both the pros and cons supporting and tarnishing the concepts of free and fair trade are well explained and reasoned.

5. Article Summarization

Donald Trump targets globalization and free trade as job-killers: Jackson elaborates the concepts of globalization. In the analysis of Trump's speech, he expounds how globalization is a great and influential idea but kills job prospects of Americans. More Wealth, More Jobs, but Not for Everyone: What Fuels the Backlash on Trade: Goodman explains the benefits of global trade and highlights the aspects making the idea of globalization a nightmare.

6. Concluding thoughts:

From this assignment, I have learned that issues of global trade, fair and free trade are fascinating and can generate endless discussions, yet, they are not as simple as I had thought earlier. There are varied perspectives which need to be looked at to either support or stand against the idea of globalization.



Glazer, S. (2007, May 18). Fair trade labeling. CQ Researcher, 17, 433-456.

Goodman, P. (2016). More Wealth, More Jobs, but Not for Everyone: What Fuels the Backlash on Trade. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Jackson, D. (2016). Donald Trump targets globalization and free trade as job-killers. USA TODAY. Retrieved from


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