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  1. Dr Peter Griffiths on BBC World Business Report

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    BBC World Business Report - CLICK TO PLAY >>> 

    Lead article of the rport (approx 7 mins) - interesting on both sides, and fair. Exresses much of what we have experienced on the ground and been saying for years. Worth a listen. 

    From Peter Griffiths: 
    Fairtrade Foundation UK will not appear on a platform with me because I produce hard research evidence and they produce only anecdotes, so the BBC got someone from the Netherlands. Note that he does not give figures for extra amount paid by consumers, amount going to the Third World, or any extra amount paid to farmers. Nor does he suggest that there is any impact study meeting the standards of the development agencies (there are not). And he does not mention that the Chief Executive of Fairtrade International and a range of researchers have said that the auditing and monitoring of the system is woeful.

  2. New research on Fairtrade

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    ‘Ethical Objections to Fairtrade’ by Peter Griffiths has just been published in the Journal of Business Ethics 

    It quotes a wide range of academic field research and information provided by Fairtrade itself. Its conclusions are:

    The Fairtrade movement is a group of businesses claiming to trade ethically. The claims are evaluated, under a range of criteria derived from the Utilitarian ethic. Firstly, if aid or charity money is diverted from the very poorest people to the quite poor, or the rich, there is an increase in death and destitution. It is shown that little of the extra paid by consumers for Fairtrade reaches farmers, sometimes none. It cannot be shown that it has a positive impact on Fairtrade farmers in general, but evidence suggesting it harms others is presented. Many of the weaknesses are due to an attempt to impose political views on farmers and others.

    Secondly, the unfair trading criteria require that sellers do not lie about their product, nor withhold information that might alter the decisions of a substantial proportion of buyers. It is argued that the system only can exist because of the failure of the Fairtrade industry to give the facts on what happens to the money and what it can be proved it achieves. This unfair trading compromises the reputation of charities in general.

    Much of the trading may constitute the criminal offence of Unfair Trading in the EU.

    Peter Griffiths says: "I have worked on food and agricultural marketing in 30 countries around the world, for governments, the EC, the World Bank, UNDP, FAO etc. Few people would claim my knowledge or experience of this subject, which is where Fairtrade operates."