As Scotland is today declared a Fair Trade Nation, and because I am the convener of the University of Edinburgh’s Fair Trade Academic Network, I present a short essay written for the forthcoming issue of the University’s student publication Leviathan.
As universities, and even nations now, claim Fair Trade status (or Fairtrade, one word, if they link their claims to a particular source of certification), academics and other critics would have us pause for thought about what fairness in relation to trade is really supposed to mean according to those who proclaim it as a goal or achievement. I aim to show that while sceptical voices need to be heard, it can nevertheless be intellectually respectable to research and teach about fair trade. And that means it is certainly worthwhile, ethically, to do so.
Link to the essay: fairness in relation to trade