Fair Cup Of Joe

cartoon-1For my paper two, I decided it would be a good to look into Starbucks and the Fair Trade Coffee industry. I was fortunate enough to find multiple books in the library’s stacks that could help me with research for my paper. I used the library’s catalog search and browsed several titles on fair trade and coffee. I found several books with information on particular fair trade countries. However, it thought these books would not carry enough information on the research I was trying to conduct. I decided to go with the book “Fair Trade Coffee: The Prospects and Pitfalls of Market-Driven Social Justice” by Gavin Fridell. Having had to search for books within the library, it didn’t take me long to find out the book was on lower level 2.

The book’s author Gavin Fridell is an International Development Studies professor at St.Mary’s University in

Canada. He is well seasoned on the topic of trade having written several books and papers  that touch on several facets of fair trade. Amongst his work, Fridell has heavily discussed the fair coffee trade market. Some of these include “Fair-trade coffee and commodity fetishism: the limits of market-driven social justice” and “The university and the moral imperative of fair trade coffee“, both of which take an interesting look fair trade coffee. Because of his notobale knowledge of the topic, I felt his book would serve me will in developing my paper 2.

The book discusses the fair trade “fad”and begs the question of if the fair trade network is a system in place to challenge corporate globalization, or is it a front in the attempt to further grow corporate globalization. The book digs deeply into the ethics behind fair trade and the gain corporations stand to make from it. Using case studies from Mexico and Canada, Fridell examines the fair trade coffee movement at both the global and local level, assessing its effectiveness and locating it within political and development theory.  A very interesting and helpful quote I found that best summarizes the work of Fridell is ” While recent assessments of the fair trade network have focused on its impact on local poverty alleviation, however, the broader political-economic and historically rooted structures that frame it have been left largely unexamined.”


4 comments on “Fair Cup Of Joe

    • I think he be believes corporate globalization detracts from underdeveloped countries becoming self sustaining economies. Because of the reliance on the global corporations, the country is forced to live to accommodate and sustain these corporations. Things like “fair trade”, for some companies, could simply be seen as another quick profit measure that they can undertake because of a great social push for the industry.

  1. I like your paper topic. I recently pitched Starbucks for SMIF and am curious as to your findings on the larger scale. I know Starbucks is trying to expand more internationally (75% of their revenue is from the US) so this would directly relate to their strategy going forward.

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