SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
17
September
2013

Week 2: FT (John Treseler)

Texts
1) The first thing that stood out to me was the descriptions of "partially committed businesses." These are businesses that do not sell 100% fair trade goods. In the United States, 95% of all annual sales of Fair Trade goods are made by partially committed businesses. These partially committed businesses are multinational companies including: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Safeway, Target, Wal-Mart, Einstein Bagles, and Whole Foods. Starbucks, when the article was written, generated the most sales of Fair Trade products than any other retailer.

2) The second thing that stood out to me was the story on page 11. The story about the man from Texas and the group in India. Gupta was the man from Texas but felt unfulfilled and started to do business with NGOs in India. Then Indian groups create and sell items with the NGOs that can sell internationally.

Responses
1) In response to the facts displayed by the first point above, I do not think that partially committed businesses are entirely bad. Yes, it is unfortunate that some workers are still being taken advantage of. That is true. But 95% of all the money made in the US is from businesses that are partially committed. Many of these businesses probably cannot be fully invested in Fair Trade products but there is a market for it with many socially aware people. This is why they are able to sell the Fair Trade products and why they are only partially committed. If the demand was there and people were willing to pay then I be there would be more FT products. The point being: all products cannot be FT unless there is a movement to support it, without the movement then there is no way that partially committed business will increase their investment.

2) This really stood out to me because I feel that we at Fordham (Amani) are doing just that. The group is really a lot of business students and faculty that are going to do meaningful business with groups in India (and South America). This is exactly what we are doing with the Rams in Africa. We found a demand in the international market and are putting orders into groups in Africa. I found the brief story as something that is true since it is something we are doing ourselves here.



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