Fair Trade movement experiencing 'growing pains'

October 27, 2011

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(Getty Images/Chris Jackson)
Chocolate is one product targeted by promoters of fair trade. Above, a farmer in St. Lucia holds up a cocoa pod.

The fair trade movement is experiencing growing pains. When the movement was smaller, it was easier for advocates to get consensus because they held similar goals. But now, large multinational corporations recognize the profitability in social responsibility, and they want in on the action.

As more consumers show concern about the sources of the products they wear and consume, many in the fair trade community want to balance the needs of smaller farmers and artisans with those of large companies.

We talk to Nancy Jones, executive director of Chicago Fair Trade; and Megy Karydes, owner of fair trade wholesaler World Shoppe, about the current trends in the fair trade movement.

Both Chicago Fair Trade and World Shoppe will be represented at Globalfest: Latin America, which takes place tomorrow (10/28/11) from 6-9:30 pm at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.