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Alternative trade in bananas: Obstacles and opportunities for progressive social change in the global economy

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  • Douglas Murray
  • Laura Raynolds
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    Abstract

    Fair trade bananas are the latest inan increasing array of commodities that are beingpromoted by various organizations in an effort tocreate alternative production and consumption patternsto the environmentally destructive and sociallyinequitable patterns inherent in traditionalproduction and trade systems. Fair trade is touted asa strategy to achieve more sustainable developmentthrough linking environmentally and socially consciousconsumers in the North with producers pursuingenvironmentally sound and socially just productionpractices in the South. Promotion of fair tradebananas in Europe has achieved impressive initialgains on the consumer end of the commodity chain,capturing 10 percent or more of the banana trade inseveral countries. Yet in spite of these gains, thefair trade banana initiative appears to beencountering serious obstacles to its further success.We argue that the primary challenge in creating atruly alternative trade in bananas stems from thedifficulties of upholding rigorous social andenvironmental standards in the face of increasinginroads into fair trade markets by transnationalcorporations producing under less rigorous conditions.We then develop a series of options for strengtheningfair trade banana initiatives in both Europe and NorthAmerica. We conclude by arguing that the case ofbananas illuminates the general question of how toachieve more progressive and sustainable productionand consumption systems within a global system thatdrives production and consumption toward greaterintegration and homogenization under the control oftransnational corporations. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1007628709393
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 65-74

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:17:y:2000:i:1:p:65-74

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460

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    Related research

    Keywords: Alternative trade; Bananas; Fair trade; Globalization; Sustainable development;

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    Cited by:
    1. Sally Smith & Stephanie Barrientos, 2005. "Fair trade and ethical trade: are there moves towards convergence?," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 190-198.
    2. Temple, L. & Marie, P. & Bakry, F. & Joubert, N., 2008. "Un déterminant de l'innovation technique en agriculture : les coordinations sur le travail dans la production bananière," Working Papers MOISA 200802, UMR MOISA : Marchés, Organisations, Institutions et Stratégies d'Acteurs : CIHEAM-IAMM, CIRAD, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro, IRD - Montpellier, France.
    3. Douglas Constance & Alessandro Bonanno, 2000. "Regulating the global fisheries: The World Wildlife Fund, Unilever, and the Marine Stewardship Council," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 125-139, June.
    4. Iain Davies & Lynette Ryals, 2010. "The Role of Social Capital in the Success of Fair Trade," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 317-338, October.
    5. Elizabeth Barham, 2002. "Towards a theory of values-based labeling," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 349-360, December.
    6. Ludovic Temple & Philippe Marie & Frédéric Bakry & Nelly Joubert, 2008. "Un déterminant de l'innovation technique en agriculture : les coordinations sur le travail dans la production bananière," Post-Print cirad-00363491, HAL.
    7. Hatanaka, Maki & Bain, Carmen & Busch, Lawrence, 2005. "Third-party certification in the global agrifood system," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 354-369, June.

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