Fair Trade and sustainable rural development: case studies on the role of producer companies in India
Sustainable development has acquired a new thrust with the focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations. At the same time, there are many public and private sustainability standards in the food and fibre sector which address sustainability, such as organic, ethical, and Fair Trade as market-based systems. This paper assesses the impact of Fair Trade on the SDGs at the local level in terms of income of the producers by considering both Fair Trade and Non-Fair Trade farmers in the specific context of the producer companies involved in Fairtrade-Certified peanut production and its marketing in Gujarat, India. It was found that Fairtrade provided an alternative outlet for farmer produce though it had poor impact in terms of uptake of Fairtrade-Certified produce and prices delivered were low compared with those in existing channels. On the other hand, worker issues were not addressed due to the prevalence of labour tenancy in the study area.