How does fair trade, as practised by Trade Aid and MINKA, contribute to the aspirations of Quechua producers in Peru?
Ward, Michelia (2012) How does fair trade, as practised by Trade Aid and MINKA, contribute to the aspirations of Quechua producers in Peru? Masters thesis, University of Otago.
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Indigenous cultures have unique traditions, histories and knowledge, yet many indigenous cultures have for centuries been forced to operate within a mainstream, colonialist culture, which does not place value on indigenous knowledge or lifestyles. The lack of recognition and acceptance of the value of indigenous culture has had a serious impact on the economic and cultural development of most indigenous peoples around the world. International Development efforts focus on supporting the economic and social development of communities in poverty around the world. These efforts include projects designed for many indigenous communities suffering from situations of poverty. Fair trade is one of these development mechanisms that aim to support food and craft producers around the world to improve their lives through trade. Many indigenous communities are producers of craft or food products such as woven textiles and coffee, and have engaged in fair trade relationships selling mainly to Western consumers. Fair trade organisations have universal principles that provide guarantees to consumers about working conditions, fair payment and trading relations with producer groups. This research project focuses on whether a universal framework designed to bring development to disadvantaged and marginalized producers can work for unique indigenous cultures across multiple continents. This research focuses on Trade Aid in New Zealand and their partnership with a Peruvian fair trade organisation, MINKA, who works with Quechua producers in the Andes. Indigenous theorists place large value on local epistemes and local solutions to local problems. Is fair trade one of these local solutions, or just another solution imposed from the outside upon indigenous producers? This research aims to explore how fair trade, as practised by Trade Aid and MINKA, can contribute to the aspirations of indigenous producers such as Quechua in Peru.
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