Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 88, Supplement 2, pp 301–317 | Cite as

Fair Trade in Mexico and Abroad: An Alternative to the Walmartopia?



Fair trade is an ethical alternative to neo-liberal market practices. This article examines the development of the fair trade movement, both in Mexico and abroad, beginning with the experience of UCIRI (Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Región del Istmo – Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region), an association of small coffee growers in Mexico and a main actor in the creation of the first fair trade seal in the world, Max Havelaar, in 1988. Future success of the fair trade movement depends mainly on resolving the tension between the capitalist business goals and the activist transformation goals of its diverse practitioners.


fair trade Mexico globalization coffee 


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I would like to thank Daniel Jaffee (Washington State University) and Mario Monroy (Grupo Jade, Mexico) for their invaluable collaboration. I also thank Barbara Mergen Alvarado and Barbara Alvarado Mergen for their careful revision of the text and their suggestions to improve it.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Politécnico NacionalMexico CityMexico

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