Fairtrade Standards for Contracts in Production Projects



By Sarah Asfaha

SKEMA Business School

Paris, France



At present, huge inequalities persist between the industrialised countries and those in the process of becoming one, and also within the same national community. Indeed, by continually seeking maximum profit, the global economic market keeps on increasing them, and the gap between rich and poor continues to widen. This system contributes to major problems that undermine our society: indecent wages, deplorable working conditions, violation of the fundamental rights of people, pollution of the planet and poor quality of products. In order to fight against this situation, it is essential to mobilise to change it. Promoting Fairtrade can be an interesting solution, which many have decided to adopt.

Keywords: Fairtrade, Ethical, standards, sustainability, social, economic, environmental development, producer, requirements, criteria


According to a study published in 2015 by the Faitrade Organisation, The market of Fairtrade has 1,226 producers organisations worldwide, which represents more than 5,9 billion of sales, extended in over 125 countries.

The ethical aspect has an increasing importance in the 21st century’s society. The mentalities are evolving. We are no longer just looking for profit. Other elements take precedence. We now want to establish a model of life based on an economy more respectful of the environment and individuals. Trade represents a significant challenge. In fact, traditional commercial practices are becoming an issue as regards producers’ income and living conditions. It was urgent to find a solution and to respond to social problems that arose. In particular, by changing the standards of contracts governing business practices around the world.

Engaged people mobilized to create an organisation setting new standards: Fairtrade. Then, in recent years, Fairtrade is booming. In 2009, the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), along with the World Fair Trade Organization, adopted the Fair Trade Principles Charter. This charter finally gives credibility and international visibility to Fairtrade. The charter then provides an official definition of Fairtrade, shares the vision and the values of this concept and also incorporates the basic principles of Fairtrade.

Fairtrade is an alternative to the dominant world trade. By relying on shorter and more transparent commercial channels, it allows producers to live decently from their work and to be actors in their development model. Ultimately, Fairtrade is the pillar of an economy that respects economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

Although standards must regulate Fairtrade to facilitate contracts between producers and buyers, they appear as a solution to our new social problems, providing an ethical and sustainable response.

In this paper we are going to see:

–           How has the arrival of the Fairtrade standards impacted commercial contracts?

–           What are the requirements related to trading practices?

–           What are the mandatory and necessary standards in  Fairtrade contract?

–           In which market the impact of the Fairtrade Standard is more relevant?


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Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

[1] How to cite this paper: Asfaha, S. (2018). Fairtrade Standards for Contracts in Production Projects, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue IX – September.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/pmwj74-Sep2018-Asfaha-Fairtrade-Standards-for-Contracts-student-paper.pdf


About the Author


Paris, France




Sarah Asfaha is a student at SKEMA Business School. She is getting specialised in Project & Programme Management & Business Development and she is going to do two internships to gain some experiences. She previously worked as commercial & first level control Assistant at BRED, one of the largest regional banks in France. This experience provided her the ability to communicate easily in a complex environment and mostly to monitor and analyse the risks that the banking sector facing regularly. She graduated from Lille University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

Sarah lives in Paris and can be contacted at: [email protected] or [email protected]