Re-embedding global agriculture: the international organic and fair trade movements

Laura Raynolds
Publication Date: 
: The international organic agriculture and fair trade movements represent important challenges to the ecologically and socially destructive relations that characterize the global agro-food system. Both movements critique conventional agricultural production and consumption patterns and seek to create a more sustainable world agro-food system. The international organic movement focuses on re-embedding crop and livestock production in "natural processes", encouraging trade in agricultural commodities produced under certified organic conditions and processed goods derived from these commodities.
For its part, the fair trade movement fosters the re-embedding of international commodity production and distribution in ``equitable social relations,'' developing a more stable and advantageous system of trade for agricultural and non-agricultural goods produced under favorable social and environmental conditions. The international market for both organic and fair trade products has grown impressively in recent years. Yet the success of these movements is perhaps better judged by their ability to challenge the abstract capitalist relations that fuel exploitation in the global agro-food system. […]