PhD student and CGR-member Shannon Sutton explores in a new CGR working paper the nature of participation in Fairtrade governance arrangements in the Africa producer network.The full paper is available here.
Abstract: While recent changes to Fairtrade’s governance structures aim to facilitate ‘stronger voices’ for producers (Fairtrade International 2011b), relatively little is known about the impact of these new structures on individuals. Utilizing Fung and Wright’s (2003) framework of Empowered Participatory Governance, I am to explore the nature of participation in Fairtrade governance for the co-operatives and individuals belonging to the Fairtrade Africa producer network. I then consider Fung’s (2002) notion of countervailing power as a means of understanding representation, particularly as it pertains to those individuals who are typically marginalized within governance processes such as women, the landless, and migrant workers. This paper is part of a broader research project on Tanzanian Fairtrade coffee farmers.