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A Study on Fair Trade as a Development Strategy For the Third World

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The world we live in today is evidently under the affect of globalization and the reliance that consumers in the Northern Hemisphere unconsciously have on products from the Southern Hemisphere. Still, it seems possible to speak about considerable disconnect between the journey that products, as for example coffee, have taken and final consumers that buy those products. Due to this disconnect doubled by a lack of awareness Northern consumers continue to support unsustainable commodity chains and exploitative trading partnership.
In this context, the focus of this thesis is the Fair Trade movement as the strategy of promotion of a more socially and environmentally sustainable alternative to the conventional market. An important aspect of using the Fair Trade movement to explore the concept of sustainable development and empowerment is that it gives each person a concrete opportunity to make difference by making responsible consumer choices; that is in its turn could result in increased returns on agricultural labor in the developing world and positively influence producers' livelihood. In order to prove that, the review of current activity of Fair Trade organizations and research on the impact of Fair Trade at the producer level, accountability and the challenges on the way to the mainstream market have been made.
The purpose of this paper is 1) to pursue the investigation on the impacts of Fair Trade upon producers and workers as to examine if Fair Trade really differ from conventional market systems and does promote sustainable development and empowerment; 2) to try to define the main challenges Fair Trade faces as it enters the mainstream and suggest some strategies for the future development.
This thesis involves a variety of methods to analyze and incorporate a wide range of situations and perspectives. The work was started with the preliminary research and literature review on the topic, such as literature regarding ethical trade, ethical consumption and the potential and limitations of the Fair Trade movement.
The importance of this work is possible to explain through the absence of much academic literature and research on Fair Trade in general and its impacts upon producers and workers in particular, especially in South Korea, where is still no sign of even one research dedicated to this important global issue.
The literature survey and case studies in this thesis show that participation within Fair Trade has made a difference for the producers and workers by promoting both sustainable development and empowerment. This is shown in the many material and non-material identified impacts from Fair Trade. It has been argued for that producers and workers have gained more control over their lives and that their living standard and quality of life have improved. Identified impacts supporting this statement are the increased income, the improved housing standards, the access to health care, the greater knowledge about one's legal rights and the increased possibility to participate in decision-making process.
However, during the work on this thesis it was found that from the point of view of most consumers, there is a little difference between different ethical offers. So, it seems to be important for Fair Trade organizations to be able to demonstrate that they continue to do what they say is their objectives, offering accountability and transparency. It is possible to speak about certain challenges that Fair Trade should face in order to maintain its growth. So, some strategies for future development are suggested, and that can be summarized as following:
1) To develop projects for managing the growth of labeling organizations( bringing all of them under one internationally recognized and politically empowered organization);
2) To bring a Fair Trade label to the legal state, in order to ensure its uniqueness;
3) To build a stronger Fair Trade brand, through an accent on organic certification;
4) To find innovative ways to co-operate with big market-players (joint ventures and joint activities);
5) To find new ways for further marketing development, for example such events as Fair Trade Fortnight and Fair Trade month;
6) To expand advocacy and education by promoting such projects as "The World in a Shop – World shops mobilizing youngsters for Fair Trade" and possible formation of an International Fair Trade training and research center;
7) To strengthen role of producers by letting them to participate in the decision-making process within Global Fair Trade organizations (issuing shares to producers can be a variant of involving them more into business-making);
8) To pay more attention to the women in the Fair Trade movement (formation of women co-operatives and educational centers to give them a chance to act equally and pursue their further empowerment).
One of the reasons for conducting this study was to redress the lack of research upon Fair Trade as a development strategy. The undertaken research suggests that since Fair Trade is a relatively new phenomenon and so far unexplored enough, more work needs to be done in order to really understand how Fair Trade affects the producers and workers in the developing countries. Even though the findings from a small study like this cannot provide any general conclusions, it does show that in order for Fair Trade to keep its credibility it is of great importance to conduct further studies within the field.
공정무역(Fair Trade)은 전통적 경제학에 따른 자유무역이 그 동안 제3세계에 가져다 준 빈곤과 노동착취로부터 탈피하고자 추진하고 있는 새로운 국제무역의 한 형태로서, 제3세계 생산자들과 직거래를 통해 그들의 빈곤문제를 해결하고자 추진되고 있는 범세계적 움직임이라 할 수 있다.
공정무역이 최근에 이르러 이슈화되고 있는 이유는 WTO 무한경쟁시대의 출범으로 특히 다국적기업들이 전 세계에 걸쳐 막강한 힘으로 존재하게 되면서 국제무역이 차지하는 중요성은 더욱 커지고 있으나 제3세계의 빈곤을 해결할 수 있는 제도적 장치가 주류 국제무역체계내에 마련되어 있지 않기 때문이며, 따라서 공정무역이 제3세계의 발전을 위한 대안전략으로 부상되고 있기 때문이다.
이에 본 연구는 주류 국제무역체계의 전통적 시장에 대한 대안시장으로서 등장하고 있는 공정무역을 제3세계의 발전을 위한 개발전략의 관점에서 다음의 문제에 초점을 두고 규명하고자 하였다.
첫째, 주류 국제무역체계 속에서 전개된 공정무역운동의 국제적 전개과정, 공정무역이 추구하는 목표를 다루었으며,
둘째, 공정무역이 주류 국제무역체계의 전통적 시장시스템과의 차이점, 공정무역의 시장 및 산업구조적 특성, 공정무역이 제3세계의 생산자 및 노동자 미치는 경제적・사회적 효과 등의 공정무역의 경제학적 측면을 다루었으며,
셋째, 공정무역운동이 향후에도 국제사회로부터의 지속적인 투자와 지원을 얻을 수 있을지에 대한 타당성 여부를 파악하기 위한 사례분석으로서, 공정무역이 제3세계의 생산자와 노동자들의 삶의 질에 미친 광범위한 경제적 ・ 사회적 영향에 관한 실증적 사례를 분석하였으며,
마지막으로, 공정무역이 제3세계를 위한 개발전략으로서 주류 국제무역체계 속에서의 향후 지속발전 가능성 및 전망과 함께 정책적 제안을 결론으로 제시하였다.
본 연구의 결과, 공정무역이 제3세계의 생산자 및 노동자들의 삶의 향상에 실질적 영향을 끼칠 수 있도록 하기 위해서는 공정무역이 주류 국제무역체계 속에 확실한 위치를 잡을 수 있도록 구속력 있는 제도적 방안이 필요한 것으로 나타났다.
이를 위해 본 연구에서는 미래의 발전을 위한 전략적 방안으로서, 다음과 같이 몇 가지 방안을 제시하였다.
1) 국제적으로 공인되고 정치적으로 권한이 부여된 공정무역기구의 운영
2) 법적 구속력 있는 공정무역의 상표도입
3) 공정무역상표의 인증을 통한 공정무역 브랜드 위상 강화
4) 공정무역상품에 대한 마케팅전략 개발
5) 다국적기업 등의 대시장 참여자와의 혁신적의 협력관계 구축
6) 공정무역에 대한 교육 및 홍보를 위한 국제적 공정무역 교육・ 연구센터 의 건립
7) 제3세계 생산자들의 Global Fair Trade기구내에서 의사결정 참여
본 연구는 연구과제에 대한 규명을 위해 문헌적 고찰을 중심으로 관련 공정무역기구와 권위자들이 제공하는 각종 웹사이트 정보를 활용하고자 하였으나 본 연구의 주제는 최근에 이슈화되고 있는 분야로서 지금까지 문헌적 및 실증적 연구가 미흡한 실정이다.
공정무역에 관한 본 연구는 보다 심층적 분석이 요하는 후속과제에 대한 선행연구로서 제시될 수 있으며, 향후 제3세계의 개발전략으로서 공정무역에 대한 보다 심층적인 연구로 발전시켜 나갈 수 있는 초석이 될 수 있을 것으로 사료된다.
Mitsheva Tamara
Issued Date
Awarded Date
2008. 8
대학원 무역학과
Lee, Yong-Wan
Table Of Contents
1. Introduction 9
1.1. Objectives and motivation 9
1.2. Purpose of the research 9
1.3. General theoretical background 10
1.4. Outline of the thesis 10
1.5. Background 11

2. The economics of Fair Trade 15
2.1. Fair Trade development 15
2.2. Fair Trade principles 18
2.3. Fair Trade industry structures and business strategies 22
2.4. The marketing of Fair Trade 29
2.5. Fair Trade and Ethical consumer 34
2.6. The Global Fair Trade market 37

3. The impact of Fair Trade 40
3.1. Fair Trade producers 40
3.2. Livelihoods and Fair Trade 42
3.3. Frameworks for impact assessment 43
3.4. Fair Trade and development impact 46

4. New opportunities for Fair Trade in the future 51
4.1. Challenges Fair Trade faces today 51
4.2. Strategic commercial opportunities 54
4.3. Political strategies 55
4.4. Suggestions on Fair Trade future development strategies 56

5. Conclusion 59

6. References 62

7. 국문요약 67
제주대학교 대학원
Mitsheva Tamara. (2008). A Study on Fair Trade as a Development Strategy For the Third World
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General Graduate School > International Trade
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