As one brand or another, we have all seen Fair Trade at some point in our lives. Whether it marks our favourite coffee, artisanal handicrafts at retail outlets, or fresh produce at our super markets, Fair Trade is readily available for our purchase. However, the actual meaning of the Fair Trade logo may be as diverse as the products it labels. Fair Trade producer cooperatives, institutions, businesses, and consumers each have unique frameworks of understanding, applying, and maintaining the integrity of the Fair Trade mark. For us as consumers of these products, it is worth our time to explore the diversity of meaning behind the Fair Trade mark and different ways of interpreting and incorporating fair practices into business. So, in honour of UTSC being certified as Canada’s 15th Fair Trade Campus by Fair Trade Canada, the IDC 2017 will set out to explore the complexities of ‘fairness’ and Fair Trade. Together, with a host of Toronto businesses, academics, and Canadian Fair Trade representatives we will explore the diversity of meanings behind Fair Trade, the applicability of it as a business model in Toronto, and what ‘fair’ means to us as everyday consumers.
Darryl Reed - Associate Professor of Business and Society Program, York University
Jose Abad-Puelles - Coffee Account Manager, Fair Trade Canada
Derek Zavislake - Co-Founder and Coffee Expert, Merchants of Green Coffee
Nadia Harduar - Sustainability Project Coordinator, University of Toronto Scarborough