Fair Trade and the New Post-Covid Reality of the Third Decade of the 21st Century
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Instytut Gospodarki Międzynarodowej, Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny w Poznaniu
Publication date: 2022-09-07
Ekonomista 2022;(3):326-348
The COVID‑19 pandemic and the ensuing crisis have shown in a clearer light than before the growing global economic, social, and environmental challenges of recent decades. And today no one doubts that the Russian invasion on Ukraine will exacerbate the existing problems. It is increasingly often stated that the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) defined by the UN and the fight against the effects of the crisis caused by the pandemic and war in Ukraine is not possible without greater involvement and active attitude of society, that leaving it only to market forces and top‑down regulations will not bring the expected results. There arises the question if and eventually how such socio‑economic initiatives as Fair Trade can contribute to the systemic transformation towards a sustainable market economy and building a new post‑covid reality in the third decade of the 21st century. Using the method of critical analysis of the literature, the author comes to the conclusion that this initiative fits both into the streams of economics which emphasize the social aspects of markets, as well as into the neoclassical perception of economic processes. Looking at Fair Trade from both perspectives allows to explain the reasons for its emergence and dynamic growth as well as to understand its role in contemporary socio‑economic life. It also leads to the conclusion that Fair Trade is not an accidental episode, but can constitute an important development trend in the global economy, playing an important role in counteracting global challenges, including the effects of the pandemic crisis and war in Ukraine. Fair Trade contributes to the society taking responsibility for social problems, incorporating such values as solidarity and altruism into market decisions, and increasing the role of the society as the third institution, next to the market and the state, shaping the economic reality.
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