Beneath the ‘Fair Trade’ Label, Union-Busting Lurks

Michelle Chen
In These Times

Since the 1990s, an unprecedented--but sometimes uneasy--alliance of activists and industry has tried to braid together business and humanitarianism under the label of “fair trade,” a system of standards aimed at injecting ethical checks into the sprawling global trade structure. Today, fair-trade branded coffees, skincare products and designer chocolates are hot commodities. But beneath the label lie ideological tensions over what “fair” means.

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