Summary of The Fair Trade Scandal

Marketing Poverty to Benefit the Rich

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The Fair Trade Scandal book summary
Is fair trade really fair?


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8 Importance

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5 Style


Development economist Ndongo S. Sylla studied fair trade’s place in the international trade universe. He reports that fair trade, which began with high ethical hopes, has made the lives of poor workers worse. Neoliberalism, “tariffication,” supply chain pressures, and labeling and brand confusion have diluted the fair trade movement’s intended impact. Sylla focuses on the least developed countries (LDCs) and details the free market’s destructive role in deepening the divide between North and South. The author’s understandable frustration does not compromise his incisive analysis, which comes through despite the book’s often-dense prose. getAbstract recommends his perspectives to executives, policy makers, activists and enlightened consumers searching for insights into the problems of the South’s economies.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why and how fair trade’s initial ethical principles eroded
  • How current North-South international trade stands
  • How fair trade can improve to address poverty in the South


An Unfair “International Trade System”
The international trade deck is stacked against the least developed countries (LDCs). The United Nations defines LDCs as nations with inadequate income, food quality, education and health care, and as being vulnerable to man-made and natural shocks...
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About the Author

Ndongo S. Sylla, a PhD in development economics, is a researcher at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation office in Dakar, Senegal.

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