Top heavy? Governance issues and policy decisions for the fair trade movement

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With the advent of mainstreaming, several different business models operate within the fair trade system. These differences are discussed in terms of how the value chain is governed, suggesting the need for a more nuanced understanding of fair trade in the mainstream.
Institutional governance, that is, the structures and standards of fair trade, is also discussed in the article. It is argued that if fair trade is to be more than just another consumer standard, it needs to address both value chain and institutional governance. Policy implications, especially with respect to fair trade institutions, particularly Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International, are set out.