Fair Trade or Free Trade

Why Organic – Organics has spread from being a lifestyle for the Mother Earth News crowd into the world of the Cosmopolitan and Vogue crowd.

Roll a shopping cart through the produce section of your local grocery store and you’ll see an increasing duplication of foods. These avocadoes are $.99 and those are $1.49. This broccoli is $1.49 a bunch, and that broccoli is $1.99. The only visible difference is a higher price for often smaller produce labelled “Certified Organic.” Why pay extra?

Trade Not Aid – A Rallying Cry That Sounds Like A Good Idea.

Trade Not Aid – This has become a rallying cry for a number of causes and businesses. It sounds like a good idea, particularly as it appeals to the Protestant ethic of work over charity as the preferred means of economic advancement. But both terms in the equation are loaded with history and ambiguity. This two-part essay dissects the argument and demonstrates that some aid is detrimental and some trade is beneficial but like with everything else in the world, simple formulations are simplistic and simplistic ideas are dangerous.

Fair Trade, Free Trade? What Kind of Trade is Fair.

Just as not all aid is harmful, not all trade is beneficial. Let’s consider the workings of ‘Free Trade’ as it is advocated by global institutions today. We’ll consider the cases of two corn farmers living on either side of the global railway tracks: