Fair trade?

by Jayne Glass

The Dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Very Reverend Rogers Govender, is making sure that his parishioners are playing their part in helping to ensure that third world crop farmers are getting a fair price for their produce.  Having introduced what is thought to be the world’s first Fairtrade communion wine, Govender uses a Fairtrade Chilean wine during communion at the Cathedral.  About 70% of the churches in the diocese already use some Fairtrade products such as tea and coffee.  The Porterion Fairtrade Wine is imported from a co-operative in Chile by a company in Stone, Staffordshire.

In the Geographical Journal, Dorothea Kleine reports on the findings of her action research that was undertaken with different economic actors along the value chain of a Chilean Fairtrade wine.  Kleine explored how the internet and tracking and tracing technologies could be used to make value chains more transparent for consumers and producers.  She found that while supermarkets are the lead firms in the Fairtrade wine chain in terms of economic power, the producers and the Fairtrade certification body wield ‘moral power’ over other actors in the value chain, demonstrating cycles of mutual recognition and underpinning each others’ legitimacy and moral power.

Read the BBC news article: ‘Cathedral trials Fairtrade wine’

Read Kleine, D. (2008).  Negotiating partnerships, understanding power: doing action research on Chilean Fairtrade wine value chains. The Geographical Journal, 174(2), 109-123.

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