encourage regional marketing of food, shorten the food miles, and keep
One way to help local farmers and slow the agribusiness takeover of
organic distribution, at least in terms of the international trade of organic
products, is by linking organics to fair trade. The fair trade movement
seeks to transform the social context of agriculture, to promote equitable
and sustainable production and marketing relations. Consumers pay for
these practices, since they are educated through specific fair trade labeling
(Raynolds 2000). Thus a consumer may be willing to pay extra for free trade
coffee because they know the local farmer is earning a fair price and growing
in a sustainable manner. On a related topic, there may be important connec-
tions between organic production and ethical trade (Browne et al. 2000).
Interviews were conducted with retailers, trade organizations, importers,
and agency representatives in the UK to investigate definitions of ethical
trade and the means for linking it to organic production. In the UK at least,
the authors predict more overlap between the two, as consumers demand
that internationally traded organic produce is grown with ethical standards.
The best current example is organic free trade coffee; these mutually ben-
eficial relationships could be accomplished through joint certification. In
the future, the global trade of organic products should be linked to ethical
trade ideals, combining the positive ecological and social goals of both.
Lines: 198 to 210
PgEnds: T E X
A N ORGANIC SOCIAL MOVEMENT?
Having raised the question of whether organic agriculture is evolving into an
agribusiness-controlled Big O Ag system of production and consumption,
we should now ask the opposite: to what extent does organic farming reflect
an ideal grassroots social movement? Many sociological and anthropologi-
cal studies have investigated this issue. There are twomain points to ponder.
First, many organic farmers do not have time to debate or philosophize over
these deeper complex social issues. They are busy growing and marketing
crops and livestock. Second, many of these studies are highly theoretical
and forbidding. But I've done my homework, and now I'll concisely present
some key studies on organic farming as a social movement.
Discourse analysis was employed to find linkages between the New
Zealand organic movement, export standards and certification, and global
consumer demand (Campbell and Liepins 2001). The argument is that
organic agriculture is “exceptional” and will not follow a linear trajectory
toward“conventionalization”; rather,“the processes that form the discursive
field are somewhat more circular and becoming increasingly complex” (36).