by Laura Raynolds, CFAT Director

The Center for Fair & Alternative Trade (CFAT) continues to pursue its interlocking research, teaching, and outreach activities focusing on local, national, & global market-based approaches to alleviating poverty & promoting sustainable development.

Our research has been recently highlighted in a set of journal articles, including ongoing analysis of Fair Trade and global labor rights initiatives by CFAT’s Director published in:
Raynolds, Laura T. (2018) “Fairtrade Certification, Labor Standards, and Labor Rights: Comparative Innovations and Persistent Challenges.” Sociology of Development 4 (2): 191-216.

And an article based on a participatory research project in South Africa, incorporating our international partners and lead authored by CFAT’s former Graduate Student Associate:
Keahey, Jennifer, Laura T. Raynolds, Sandra Kruger, & Andries du Toit (2018) “Participatory Commodity Networking: An Integrated Framework for Fair Trade Research and Support.” Action Research 16 (1): 25-42.

Given CFAT’s global preeminence, we are frequently asked to provide chapters assessing the state of the field across a range of social science disciplines, recently publishing:
Raynolds, Laura T. (in press) “Fair Trade.” In A. Kobayashi (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography Elsevier Press.

Linking our research and teaching commitment, we often engage CFAT Graduate Student Associates as co-authors, as in:
Raynolds, Laura T. & Nefratiri Weeks (2018) “Fairtrade Certification in Latin America: Challenges and Prospects for Fostering Development.” in J. Cupples et al. (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Latin American Development Routledge Press.

CFAT continues to advance its education, outreach, and engagement agenda training graduate students, guiding individual and collaborative research projects, and connecting academic, policymaker, citizen, activist, business, and philanthropic communities via presentations, consultancies, and other forums.

With our track record of top notch engaged research around the world, CFAT is frequently invited to pursue consultancies, where we collaborate with CFAT Associates, recently completing:
DeCoursey, Maureen (2019) “Fair Trade Compliance and Impact Assessment: Nepal and India” prepared for Ten Thousand Villages and the Mennonite Central Committee, Canada. DeCoursey and Associates, in collaboration with CFAT.

This study involved field-based research with fair trade handicraft producer associations Sasha and Trade Alternative Reform Action in India and Kumbeshwar Technical School and the Association for Craft Producers in Nepal.