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Debarati Sen and Sarasij Majumder

The global circulation of food and agricultural commodities is increasingly influenced by the ethical choices of Western consumers and activists who want to see a socially and environmentally sustainable trade regime in place. These desires have culminated in the formation of an elaborate system of rules, which govern the physical and social conditions of food production and circulation, reflected in transnational ethical regimes such as fair trade. Fair trade operates through certifying producer communities with sustainable production methods and socially just production relationships. By examining interdisciplinary academic engagements with fair trade, we argue that fair trade certification is a transnational bio-political regime; although, it holds the potential for reflecting global counterpolitics. By reviewing the literature on the emergence and history of fair trade certification, agro-food chains, case studies on certified producer communities and the certification process, this article shows that fair trade certification is a new governing mechanism to discipline farmers and producers in the Global South by drawing them into globalized market relationships. However, recent studies suggest that fair trade also leaves open the potential for creative iterations of the fair trade idea in producer communities to give voice to their situated struggles for justice. Thus, fair trade constitutes a contested moral terrain that mediates between the visions of justice harbored by producers and activists in the Global South and reflexive practices of the Western consumers. To map these critical developments around fair trade and fair trade certification, close ethnographic attention to the material and symbolic life of certification is vital.

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Creative Encounters

African Trade and Chinese Oil Production in Western Chad

Nikolaus Schareika

also traded the credits for mobile phones that were then not available on every corner or by phone-to-phone transfer as they are nowadays. Iba not only sold his merchandise for direct cash but also gave it out on credit in anticipation of payday. He did

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Affective Solidarities?

Participating in and Witnessing Fair Trade and Women’s Empowerment in Transnational Communities of Practice

Debarati Sen

manager of Sonakheti , a fair trade certified tea plantation in Darjeeling district. Mr Pradhan’s observations reflect the increase in ‘voluntourism’, a combination of aid work and tourism. Voluntourists practice sustainable tourism, corporate social

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Richard Westra

extent market ‘exchange’ activities are utilised in them, the forms exchanges assume will be as local exchange/employment and trading systems (LETS). Exchange will necessarily be face-to-face or interpersonal , and function more akin to sharing rather

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Anna Scolobig, Luigi Pellizzoni, and Chiara Bianchizza

regard, the way in which relevant trade-offs are acknowledged and dealt with as well as the local policy context are crucial. It must be stressed from the outset that our study has an exploratory character, which entails limits in terms of robustness of

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Fredy B.L. Tobing and Asra Virgianita

political ties but also on growing trade figures and better economic relations. Shared values and solidarity, which had been the hallmark of Indonesia's relations with Latin American countries, might no longer be the driving forces in establishing deeper

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“A Land of Limitless Possibilities”

British Commerce and Trade in Siberia in the Early Twentieth Century

Janet Hartley

This article looks at the prospects and the reality of British commercial activity in Siberia in the early twentieth century, before the outbreak of World War I, and is based on contemporary comments by travelers, businessmen, and commercial agents. Contemporaries agreed that the dynamic Siberian economy opened up opportunities for British exports and trade. British firms, however, lagged behind commercial rivals, in particular in Germany, and the United States. The article explores the reasons for this and also looks at the subjects of the British Empire who went to Siberia and the conditions under which they worked. The article demonstrates the vibrancy of Siberian economic development in this period and the active participation of Western powers in this process.

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Kyri W. Claflin

In the early twentieth century, French academic veterinarians launched a meat trade reform movement. Their primary objective was the construction of a network of regional industrial abattoirs equipped with refrigeration. These modern, efficient abattoirs-usines would produce and distribute chilled dead meat, rather than livestock, to centers of consumption, particularly Paris. This system was hygienic and economical and intended to replace the insanitary artisanal meat trade centered on the La Villette cattle market and abattoir in Paris. The first abattoirs-usines opened during World War I, but within 10 years the experiment had begun to encounter serious difficulties. For decades afterward, the experiment survived in the collective memory as a complete fiasco, even though some abattoirs-usines in fact persisted by altering their business models. This article examines the roadblocks of the interwar era and the effects of both the problems and their perception on the post-1945 meat trade.

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Kenneth Margerison

The French monarchy's determination to suspend the trading rights of the Compagnie des Indes in 1769 stimulated a lively public debate over the establishment of commercial liberty in the Indies trade. Since mid-century, Vincent de Gournay and his disciples had advocated increased liberty in French commerce, and the Compagnie des Indes' privileged trading monopoly offered a tempting target for these reformers. Working on behalf of the ministry, the abbé Morellet undertook the task of convincing public opinion of the benefits that liberty of commerce in the Indies trade would bring to France. However, the company's principal banker Jacques Necker and physiocrat Pierre-Samuel Dupont raised serious doubts concerning both the feasibility and the value of such reform. These critiques challenged any expectation that commercial liberty would increase French strength in the Indies trade or contest British political hegemony in India after the Seven Years' War.

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“Tobacco! Tobacco!”

Exporting New Habits to Siberia and Russian America

Matthew P. Romaniello

developing market, but it was legally imported into Russia’s Asian possessions, becoming a part of Siberia’s trade with Bukhara, India, Iran, and China. 4 In the eighteenth century, Russia’s reliance on tobacco as a product with indigenous appeal in Siberia