Year of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department or School/College
Environmental Studies Program
Daniel Spencer, Laurie Yung
Alternative Agro-Food Movement, Domestic Fair Trade, Embeddedness, International Fair Trade, Organics, Social Change, Social Justice Labeling, Social Justice Market-Based Initiatives
University of Montana
Agriculture in North America has tended toward consolidation and industrialization in the past century. Responding to the narrowing of market advantage for small-scale organic farmers and the plight of farm workers, as well as to both the failures and potentials of international fair trade and organic initiatives, members of the nascent Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA) seek to insert social justice into the North American food system using a market-based initiative mediated by independent that conform to stringent criteria. This study examines the meaning of fair trade in a North American context; the challenges facing domestic fair trade initiatives, and the ways the DFTA confronts them; and the ways those involved with the DFTA intend to move ahead with a domestic fair trade initiative. I argue that through a strong collaborative approach both structurally and in its vision for a transformed food system, the DFTA may bring a new and productive element to the discussion of alternative agro-food initiatives in North America. Central to DFTA members’ understanding of their goals is the formation of a coalition representing all the stakeholders in the food system, the creation of alternative economic models which embody social justice, the education and empowerment of the consumer as a political actor, and the role of policy in a complete transformation of the food system.
Thorn, Emily Elizabeth, "THE MEANING OF MARKETS: HOW THE DOMESTIC FAIR TRADE ASSOCIATION UNDERSTANDS CREATING SOCIAL CHANGE USING MARKET INITIATIVES" (2009). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 1045.
© Copyright 2009 Emily Elizabeth Thorn