Book Chapter

The Fair Trade System

K Macdonald

Handbook of Transnational Governance: Institutions and Innovations | Polity Press | Published : 2011


The contemporary fair trade system has a distinctive, hybrid character as a production and trading network, a social governance arrangement, and a transnational social movement. From the perspective of global governance innovation, it can perhaps be best conceptualised as an ‘alternative’ normative and institutional system to both organise and govern production and trade. Its central purpose is to operate an alternative market through which commodities can be produced and traded on terms that promote sustainable social development among marginalized workers and producers, particularly those in the global South.