Fair trade governance: revisiting a framework to analyse challenges and opportunities for sustainable development towards a green economy
Ribeiro-Duthie, AC and Gale, F and Murphy-Gregory, HL, Fair trade governance: revisiting a framework to analyse challenges and opportunities for sustainable development towards a green economy, Discover Sustainability, 2, (58) pp. 1-17. ISSN 2662-9984 (2021) [Refereed Article]
As a relatively new form of non-state governance, the fair trade movement presents an opportunity to promote sustainable production and consumption and hence social change. Global market demands and consumer engagement denote changes in social practices that have led governments to share decision-making processes with private sector and non-governmental organisations. In this context of change, it is important to consider not only whether new forms of governance weaken or strengthen states’ authority within the marketplace but also the extent to which they may allow for "green washing" instead of the green economy proposed by the United Nations Environmental Program. This study considers the fair trade of food production and consumption as a potential innovative model. In doing so it examines the existing general literature on governance, which highlights that decision-making processes tend to reproduce top-down approaches. While such practices may reproduce conventional hierarchies, it is worth questioning the potential of new forms of governance within global markets. This article builds on a sustainability governance analytical framework to deepen understandings of fair trade governance and its possible responses to the dilemmas of food production for ethical consumption and thus sustainable development in transnational relations. This research aims to contribute to the literature on improving compliance with global sustainability standards and through this, inform practices that allow for cooperation towards a green economy.
fair trade, ethical consumption, sustainable production and consumption, green economy, analytical framework of governance, sustainability governance, staples, commodities, governance