252days until
FTIS 2015!

Symposium Themes

The question of whether and how Fair Trade connects producers, consumers and other stakeholders along the supply chain were broken down into six themes which provided the structure of the symposium. It was noted that Fair Trade will be considered in the broad sense, including a wide array of products and services, whether certified or not, and from a variety of conceptual and cultural perspectives. Authors submitting an abstract had selected one of the following themes, or a maximum of two in the case of a transversal issue.


From North to South and vice-versa

  • How can supply chains enable producers and consumers to interact?
  • How is supply chain governance organised? How is information exchanged?
  • How is value distributed along the supply chain? What are the opportunities for producers to capture more value?
  • What are the power relations of Fair Trade at the sites of production, retail and consumption? 

Certification and standard-setting

  • What consequences do standards and their implementation have on the relationships between producers, consumers and other actors within fair trade supply chain?
  • What is the possible role of public regulation/procurement schemes in relation to standards?
  • How can Fair Trade be linked to local standards and promotion initiatives (e.g. support for small farmers, local trading systems, promotion of regional foods)?

The organisational and entrepreneurial dimension of Fair Trade

  • Which organizational/business models are best suited for Fair Trade practitioners in the North and the South?
  • Do Fair Trade organizations evolve towards one dominant model, following “best practices”, or is there room for a diversified landscape?
  • How can Fair Trade entrepreneurs achieve social, economic and environmental success?
  • Are there lessons to be learned from the South by the North and vice versa?

 Producers and Fair Trade

  • Does the impact on producers depend on the type of supply chain?
  • How can impact be adequately assessed to take tangible (quantifiable; outcomes) and less tangible (qualitative; process; relationships) features into account?
  • Does Fair Trade provide real empowerment or just access to global markets?
  • How can Fair Trade foster equality and inclusiveness among producers and producer groups in local and global contexts?
Fair Trade consumption
  • Are Fair Trade consumers segmented into an ethical niche or networked within a social movement?
  • Does Fair Trade consumption correspond to a feel-good effect or to a citizen commitment?
  • To what extent is 'the consumer' an appropriate unit of analysis for analysing people's engagement with Fair Trade in the North?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges of Fair Trade consumption in the South?

 Global connections in a broader context

  • How can we conceptualise Fair Trade's relationships with market, state, and civil society?
  • How does Fair Trade connect to corporations?  How do we go beyond traditional debates on 'mainstreaming'?
  • How does Fair Trade connect to public institutions and public policy at different levels?
  • To what extent is Fair Trade (still) anchored in civil society and can it (still) be considered as a social movement?
  • How is Fair Trade affiliated to concepts such as sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, the social/solidarity economy, cooperativism, etc.? How does it relate to religion and faith?
  • How should we conceptualise the role of place and institution-based Fair Trade schemes in the global connections (e.g. Fairtrade Towns, Fairtrade Schools, Fairtrade Nations)?