The Mists of Development: Fairtrade in Kenyan Tea Fields

Dolan, Catherine (2008) The Mists of Development: Fairtrade in Kenyan Tea Fields. Globalizations, 5 (2). pp. 305-318.


Increasing numbers of consumers see themselves as ‘partners’ in poverty reduction, purchasing Fairtrade products to offset inequalities in the global economy and to ensure that producers in developing countries enjoy the same basic rights and freedoms as their Western counterparts. Yet the extent to which ethical consumption is restructuring commodity chains in a way that diminishes hierarchies between producers and consumers remains an open question. Drawing on a qualitative research project of ethical sourcing in African agriculture, this paper discusses the extent to which key tenets of the fair trade system—empowerment, transparency, equal exchange, and democratic participation—are realized among Fairtrade tea producers in Kenya. It suggests that while such ideals embrace the aspirations of sustainable development, their achievement remains distant from the experience of many producers, for whom ethical outcomes are shaped by an array of conflicting interests, both within and beyond the commodity chain.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: fairtrade; business ethics; supply chains
Subject(s): Retail
Centre: Oxford Institute of Retail Management
Faculty of Marketing
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2011 13:16
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:05

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