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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The impact of fair trade on the living standards of farmers in Ghana social cooperatives and corporate cooperatives
Author:Binkowski, Borys
Periodical:Modern Africa: Politics, History and Society (ISSN 2336-3274)
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:agricultural cooperatives
international trade
social justice
External link:https://uni.uhk.cz/africa/index.php/ModAfr/article/view/145/120
Abstract:Fair Trade is a complex movement, but its central purpose is to help disadvantaged small producers from developing countries through trade. The most recognized aspect of the movement is Fairtrade International, the biggest Fair Trade certification organization. The system was created to give advantages in international trade for farming cooperatives who decided to join the movement. Although in last 20 years of Fair Trade growth there have been many studies of the movement, there has only been one wide spectrum survey on the impact of Fair Trade on rural producers. Many others were concentrated at other aspects of the movement or were irrelevant. The research presented here is the first qualitative Fair Trade impact study conducted in Ghana. It also has a wide spectrum and is a part of broader ongoing research in two other regions of the world. Research was conducted to examine Fair Trade's (in particular Fairtrade International's) impact on farmers and communities in Ghana by comparing it to farmers and communities that do not benefit from the system. A qualitative study was conducted, based on 75 interviews, among them interviews with farmers of cocoa and oranges, members and employees of cooperatives, owners and employees of food companies and representatives of Fairtrade International. Observations of 5 villages and 1 small town, alongside the interviews conducted, resulted in the conclusion that there are no substantial differences in the standards of living between farmers which are members of cooperatives benefiting from Fair Trade and farmers from the comparison group. The research suggests that small cooperatives and big cooperatives function differently. Small cooperatives are operating in the interest of their members, while big cooperatives are focused on creating business potential. The study revealed that small cooperatives provide more benefits for farmers while the big ones transform into ventures similar to corporations.