The Fair Trade Network in Historical Perspective

Gavin Fridell
Publication Date: 
This paper examines the fair trade network within the context of the post-war international development regime.
In recent years, sales of fair trade goods – both commodities and handicrafts – have grown substantially in Europe and North America, and the fair trade network has been relatively successful at gaining the support of public institutions, international financial institutions, and transnational corporations. This paper argues that this success, when viewed historically, can only be properly understood as the flip side of the defeat of the broader fair trade movement that sought international market regulation and strong state intervention and is in fact indicative of the current triumph of neoliberal globalization.