In the last two decades, the fair trade movement has undergone significant institutional changes. From an informal network of activists and producers, it has evolved into a structured set of actors whose collective adherence to " fair" principles is guaranteed by external certification programs. Focusing on the craft sector, this paper explores the impacts of both the material practice of certification (evaluation and monitoring) and the semiotic practice of certification (product labeling). Drawing on a collaborative research experience with a craftswomen's cooperative in the Ecuadorian Andes, it argues that the material practice of certification impedes artisans' attempts to join the formal Fair Trade network, while the semiotic practice of certification limits fair trade's ability to " lift the veil" of the commodity fetish, which was one of the central goals of the original movement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Alternative consumption
- Fair Trade
- Latin America
- Moral economy