Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Fair-Trade Coffee and Commodity Fetishism: The Limits of Market-Driven Social Justice

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Historical Materialism

This paper explores the claims made by various authors that the fair-trade network provides an initial basis for a challenge to the commodification of goods under global capitalism. Proponents of fair trade generally advance two essential arguments in this regard. First, they claim that fair trade reveals the social and environmental conditions under which goods are produced and brings producers and consumers together through 'ethical consumerism', which challenges the commodification of goods into items with an independent life of their own. Second, they argue that fair trade affirms non-economic values of co-operation and solidarity which challenge the capitalist imperatives of competition, accumulation, and profit-maximisation. Drawing from cases in the fair-trade coffee sector, these assertions are critically examined and it is argued that, while fair trade can provide a symbolic challenge to commodity fetishism, in the end this challenge is strictly limited by the power of global market imperatives and the network's market-driven approach.

Affiliations: 1: Trent University, Ontario;, Email:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Historical Materialism — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation