However, mass competition also leads to many negative side effects, such as the race to the bottom to find the cheapest supply chains, widening wage gaps, terrible working conditions, the loss of local industries, monoculture and mass unemployment. Without taxes and controls to protect small businesses, large monolithic companies can dominate the market and then demand what they want from their workers. The consumer benefits, but this comes at the expense of the well-being of workers and the environment. Student groups have also increasingly promoted fair trade products in recent years.  Although hundreds of independent student organizations are active around the world, most groups in North America are affiliated with United Students for Fair Trade (UNITED STATES), the Canadian Student Fair Trade Network (Canada) or Fair Trade Campaigns (United States), which also host fair trade universities and fair trade schools. 48] Some criticism has been levelled at fair trade systems. Some suppliers use the relationships established in a fair trade system to autonomously conclude direct selling relationships that they negotiate themselves, while other direct trading systems are initiated by suppliers for reasons of social responsibility similar to fair trade systems. Many fair trade proponents, including the equal exchange and fair world project groups, argued that Rice`s decision would weaken fair trade standards. They argued that the only reasonable way to improve the lives of coffee farmers is to focus on smallholders “deprived of their rights” rather than expanding to larger plantations. However, the Guardian`s research tells a different story. Between 2009 and 2013, the researchers found that in parts of Africa where Fairtrade International cooperatives dominated the coffee trade, workers actually earned less and had poorer working conditions than those working on larger plantations – and community projects funded by fair trade bonuses, such as schools and health clinics, were often unavailable to them.
“Coffee is our main income. We rely on coffee production to meet all our needs, such as school fees, clothing and food such as rice. If the coffee market price is low (as it is now at 90 cents per pound), the Fairtrade minimum price of $1.40 per pound is like a safety net for us. This gives us an income that covers our costs that we can rely on. These problems are similar for many crops such as bananas, cocoa, cotton and tea, where the market fluctuates and farmers have no control over prices. “The Fair Trade Federation is an association that empowers and promotes North American organizations that are fully committed to fair trade as an organization of business members that operate 360° fair trade. These members are companies that are fully committed to fair business practices – every business decision is made taking into account the well-being of artisans and farmers. This commitment is deeply rooted and sets the bar high for fair trade.
Using the standards set by FLO and the World Fair Trade Organization, the Federation ensures that its members comply with fair trade practices through its verification process. In the spring of 2010, the University of California, San Diego became the second fair trade university in the United States. The University of California, San Diego understood the efforts of the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK, but they realized they wanted to be more detailed about how their declaration as a fair trade university would bring about a real change in the way franchises do business with the university on campus. They also required constant evaluation and improvement. The main premise of being a fair trade university for the University of California, San Diego is the promise between the university and students about the university`s ongoing efforts to increase the accessibility of fair trade certified food and beverages and promote sustainability through other means, such as. B the purchase of local organic farmers and the reduction of waste.  The issue of premiums is a crucial argument for defending fair trade certification. Fair trade is the only certification system that uses collective bargaining by cooperatives or community groups, allowing workers to decide together how to invest the money they have earned to improve their communities. If the big brands remove this choice, the whole model is compromised. Yes, better working conditions are a fundamental human right and a trade that focuses on the producer as much as the brand must be designed in an exemplary way.
But when brands take this story into their own hands and inadvertently exploit the well-being of their workers for consumers` money by changing the dynamics of the fair trade relationship and premium allocation, gross negligence is committed that jeopardizes the entire model as well as consumer confidence in fair trade. “When you buy Fairtrade coffee, you know it has been produced in a sustainable and ethical way. It allows communities like mine to have more control over our future and protect the environment in which we live and work,” says Mitchell. There are many types of products that carry the different fair trade labels. Most of them are agricultural products such as coffee, tea, chocolate, herbs and spices, sugar, flowers and products such as bananas and mangoes. .