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Embedding fairtrade in South Africa : global production networks, national initiatives and localized challenges in the Northern Cape.

Hughes, Alex and McEwan, Cheryl and Bek, David and Rosenberg, Zaitun (2014) 'Embedding fairtrade in South Africa : global production networks, national initiatives and localized challenges in the Northern Cape.', Competition and change., 18 (4). pp. 291-308.

Abstract

This article contributes to debate on the evolving expressions of business responsibility in emerging market economies and developing economies by exploring and theorizing the ways in which the Fairtrade standard for supply chains is being re-worked and implemented in South Africa. To understand the changing ways in which the global Fairtrade standard is embedded in South Africa, the article argues for attention not only to recent strategic re-articulations of the standard through national-level initiatives, but also to the localized experiences of producer groups, including those in peripheral regions. This argument is supported by interview-based research revealing the challenges faced by a particular Fairtrade producer community — Eksteenskuil Agricultural Cooperative (EAC) in the Northern Cape. A relational approach developed from economic geography shows how challenges concerning market access, land tenure and community empowerment for this producer emerge from a combination of global Fairtrade conventions, South Africa’s dynamic national-institutional context and local politics of place.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Fairtrade, Global production networks, Relational geography, South Africa.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1024529414Z.00000000062
Date accepted:10 March 2014
Date deposited:25 June 2014
Date of first online publication:August 2014
Date first made open access:01 August 2016

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