Is Fair Trade Bringing Satisfying Impacts or Changes to the United States?


Is Fair Trade Bringing Satisfying Impacts or Changes to the United States?


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Family and Consumer Sciences


Yoon Ma

Mentor Department

Family and Consumer Sciences


With the increasing consciousness of ethical (Goworek, 2011) and various environmental issues (Mollenkropf, Stolze, Tate, & Ueltschy, 2010), people started paying more attention to the manufacturers who have produced products to satisfy basic human needs but haven’t acquired enough benefits for the minimum level of their quality life including a promised wage, healthy working condition and the bonus they deserved to maintain the quality of their products. The purpose of this content-based research was to explore both possible positive and negative impacts of fair trade, the attitudes from the U.S. government and the retailer side, the viewpoints of manufacturers and workers, and the thoughts from consumers, comprehensively. The researcher reviewed scholarly articles and organization websites from the University library and Google Scholar by mainly using the keywords of fair trade, America, the consciousness of fair trade, and manufacturers in developing countries. The positive impacts of fair trade include that workers are able to gain a more favorable working environment, a promised fair wage, and additional compensations. In the environmental aspect, executing the Fair trade Standard, which harmful chemicals and pesticides are not allowed, results in a better and sustainable environment (Fairtrade Foundation, n.d.). However, a stronger competition within small producers and different certified processes of the fair trade system became the concerns (Jaffee & Howard, 2016). For the U.S. government and the retail side, fair trade gives them opportunities to strengthen the relationships between workers and retailers (Cater, Beal, & Collins, 2016). The research studies demonstrated that consumers’ willingness pays more to promote fair trade products and how consumers these days still lack consciousness of fair trade comparing to the population of fair trade supporters (Konuk, 2019). The biggest concern for the manufacturing companies which are executing fair trade is how to pursue the aspiration of fair trade but still achieve the expecting profits for their companies at the same time. By reviewing previous studies, this research provides a better understanding of fair trade nowadays and complications of it as well.

Is Fair Trade Bringing Satisfying Impacts or Changes to the United States?