Resource website of social and solidarity economy

Characteristics and organization of the Fairtrade market in Brazil

No 95348, 116th Seminar, October 27-30, 2010, Parma, Italy from European Association of Agricultural Economists

Elena Valentini, October 2010

To download : PDF (100 KiB)

Summary :

Fair Trade is defined as a set of socio-economic activities which are alternative to traditional and international trade. It began from the belief that the principal market’s laws tend to cause serious damage to the South, and especially to the many workers devoted to ‘agriculture’. The concept of Fair Trade is very important and powerful because it states that all trades should follow right principles; this statement highlights the importance of the movement as a regulatory model for all the incorporation models of trade regulations[1]. In this paper, with both historical and analytical approaches, we will try to analyze the economic paradigms which are taking place in the South and to highlight the importance, sometimes forgotten by stakeholders in the North, of Fair Trade as a new way to change market rules and turn them to the service of those who are excluded from the economic system. We have taken as a case study Brazil, which since 2001 has undertaken a very attractive challenge: to become not just a supplier, but producer and consumer of Fair Trade food and hand-made products too. Various social actors in Brazil have formed a discussion platform named the Forum de Articulação do Comércio Ético e Solidário(FACES), in order to discuss and suggest the construction of a favourable and necessary environment for the implementation of a cohesive national market. With the promotion and the construction of a Brazilian Fair Trade system it will be possible to ensure a national identity for the concept and to create a cohesive national market, promoting the diffusion of products and producers as part of the system. This works for the South-South economy but also for the North-North version, thanks to the construction of « networks of solidarity economy » in which the relationship between producers and consumers is measured by social and human « indicators » too, not only by monetary and financial ones.

Sources :