Date of Award

5-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Geography and Environmental Resources

First Advisor

Duram, Leslie

Abstract

The Domestic Fair Trade (DFT) movement is based on the idea that family farms and small-to -mid-scale farms in the global north are facing many of the same pressures that producers in the global south are facing. Therefore, those participating in food, fiber, and fuel systems in North American should also benefit from fair trade practices. Through the formation of the Domestic Fair Trade Association in the United States, there are now a variety of stakeholders that have come together to find a viable and progressive solution to issues related to fair prices and wages, human rights, environmentally harmful agricultural practices, and food safety and traceability through the framework of fair trade. This study examines how the Domestic Fair Trade movement has been realized in one of the participating groups of stakeholders; consumer food cooperatives. Five cooperatives are assessed to determine their experiences with integrating Domestic Fair Trade into their business practices. Research includes interviews with co-op managers, surveys taken by co-op shoppers, and document analysis of Domestic Fair Trade Association meetings. The research methods provide insight into how DFT intersects with this group of stakeholders and how their experiences relate to what is being discussed at the organizational level of DFT. The research reveals that with the help of the DFTA and the ongoing participation of its members, the United States DFT movement has the potential to create ethical linkages within the food system.

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