The Politics of Fair Trade: Textiles vs. Food

Global Food Politics

Blogging at Foreign Policy and prompted by the death toll in the collapse of the Rana Plaza textile factory in Bangladesh, Marya Hannun yesterday asked, “When it comes to ethics, why do consumers care more about coffee than clothes?”  While careful to note the limits of consumer choice (in particular, that consumers generally prefer fair trade only when price differences are marginal), Hannun observes that consumer preference is leading to change in coffee markets without a parallel movement in clothing. She notes that while Starbucks has committed to sourcing all of its coffee from fair trade sources by 2015, it’s almost impossible to imagine Wal-Mart making a similar commitment with respect to its clothing.

It’s an interesting paradox, but not one without precedent. With respect to biotechnology, consumers have generally embraced medical applications while frequently rejecting food and agricultural applications. But there’s a slightly different dynamic playing…

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About Dr. Bukar USMAN, mni

I started as a field Veterinary officer with Borno State Ministry of Agriculture and later joined College of Agric, Maiduguri as a lecture & a Researcher in the Department of Animal Health & Production. I was appointed the Provost of the College In 2003. In 2007 I was appointed Hon. Commissioner & Member Borno State Executive Council and later appointed Permanent Secretary with the Borno State Civil Service in 2009. I was the National Facilitator Animal Health, National Programme For Food Security of the Federal Ministry of Agric & Rural Development, Abuja. I was Director, Veterinary Medicine & Allied Products (VMAP) and now Director North East Zone NAFDAC. I’m a member of the National Institute’ (mni), Kuru SEC 40, 2018. I engaged myself in various aspects of the veterinary profession. I founded Sril Group Ltd, Nigeria.
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