Study Confirms Positive Effects on Rural Development

12 December 2012

What are the effects of Fairtrade on rural development in the producing countries of the South? Which are the decisive factors for an ideal influence? On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, TransFair e.V. Germany and Max Havelaar Switzerland commissioned a study that assesses the effects of Fairtrade in several product ranges on three continents.

“The latest results show that Fairtrade creates an improved income and contributes to poverty reduction in rural areas,” said Dieter Overath, General Manager of TransFair. “In regions with strong Fairtrade representation, such as banana farming in Peru or rose cultivation in Kenya, conventional farmers have even started copying Fairtrade standards, for example when it comes to paying a premium or improving their working conditions.”

The study was co-financed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the German development co-operation organisations Misereor and Brot für die Welt/EED and was developed by research institute CEval of Saarbrücken, Germany.

Surveys Across Six Product Ranges in Africa, Latin America and Asia

A range of qualitative and quantitative data was gathered for this study. Farmers and dependent workers of four countries were interviewed in 32 group discussions and 128 individual interviews. 3750 survey forms as well as primary and secondary literature were evaluated. The methodically ambitious implementation of this study allows making clear statements on the effects of Fairtrade on rural development. Case studies from the coffee, banana, tea, cotton, cocoa and flower product ranges were evaluated. The team at CEval compared the development of Fairtrade-certified small farmer co-operatives, plantations and contract production with that of conventional organisations. Comparative parameters included education, health care and gender.

Read more in the full press release from TransFair (Fairtrade) Germany


Summary report

Full report

Response from TransFair Germany and Max Havelaar Foundation Switzerland

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