The Journal of Fair Trade

The Journal of Fair Trade is a new international journal to be launched in 2018 to reclaim the best practices and values that contribute to mutuality and fairness in trade. The Journal aims to be a source of the leading research on Fair Trade.

Its companion website, the Fair Trade Initiative, is a membership website that aims to provide a forum for ideas and lively debate and act as a funnel for new work.

The concept of Fair Trade in the context of this Journal includes all efforts to ensure that trade is fair for all, including certification schemes. The founders of this Journal want to encompass the full range of interests and voices that need to be heard on these issues.

The Journal provides a space in which to discuss the varied approaches to making the world a more just place through business and trade. It offers a much-needed, independent platform to analyse and share insights on both practice and theory. Unafraid to be outspoken, the goal of the Journal is to catalyse significant improvements in the way all types of trade deliver social and environmental justice, calling out companies and institutions to go further and explaining why and how to do so.

Our vision:

  • Reclaim and define best practice
  • Catalyse significant and meaningful improvement in direction of movement
  • Motivate
  • Promote inclusion and a wide range of voices – no voice unheard
  • Wide and affordable membership
  • Open access
  • Mentoring and needs-based support for contributors
  • Accountability and support to all leaders of Fair Trade

The Journal and its website will publish independent academic work, briefings and articles, and promote new voices and experiences from cooperatives, producer organisations and practitioners, as well as Fair Trade businesses and corporations striving to be responsible global citizens.

The Journal of Fair Trade will become an invaluable resource for business leaders, charities and academics committed to securing sustainability and greater equity in supply chains throughout the world.

The Fair Trade Initiative – a membership organisation to debate and find new directions for Fair Trade

The Fair Trade Initiative (FTI) is a new membership website acting as a companion to the Journal of Fair Trade (JoFT) (launching in 2018).

Our vision is of the FTI as a membership-based initiative that brings together individuals and organisations worldwide who are interested in raising the bar, rebooting or reinventing Fair Trade and raising to the fore the values of equity, empowerment and trade mutual benefit through debate, writing and dissemination.

FTI membership is through an annual due of £10, $13, €12. Click here to join.

What does the FTI care most about?

This isn’t a passive initiative! What do FTI members get? What do we hope they will commit to do with the FTI?

Academic Partnerships

The FTI hopes to develop Academic Partnerships with Universities or University departments, Colleges and Institutes already publishing, and running courses on or including Fair Trade.

For an annual membership donation we’ll provide:

  • Free digital access to the Journal
  • Direct access for all registered students and Fair Trade teaching staff to our website and forum (via group membership)
  • Space for articles from their staff
  • Free advertisements for their courses on the FTI website, with a special section designed for teaching colleagues and universities worldwide to show where in the world there are strong and vibrant Fair Trade studies centres and their areas of excellence
  • Help to run symposiums from time to time on their campuses, mobilising and supporting vital speakers and new voices.


  • We offer priority to Academic Partners’ students for internships
  • We offer real jobs (writing, translation, analysis etc) to be undertaken as part of students’ coursework/for credit (e.g. case studies for the FTI website, book reviews, identification of contributors for the Journal or FTI website, debate co-ordination).
How are the Journal and the FTI organised?

The JoFT Advisory Board is currently being recruited and will be composed of a mixture of academics and practitioners. The Board’s roles and responsibilities will include:

  • Connecting with/proposing contributors to the JoFT
  • Finding and/or acting as mentors to and supporting writers/translators of JoFT content
  • Developing Journal plans and issue content (for a period of 3–5 years or for 6–12 issues)
  • Mobilising FTI members and JoFT subscribers
  • Connecting with donors/research and information projects
  • Supporting fundraising initiatives


Mentors are committed and qualified volunteers who will help to identify and support practitioners to develop work for peer review and publication in the Journal.

We have a wide network of people who can act as mentors, editors, advisers, translators or editors. We will endeavour to support all activists, practitioners and scholars who have strong ideas, drafts or theses, but need help to step up to academic or popular publishing level.

We will post up openings and needs on our website from time to time.

If you have a little or even a lot of time to act as a mentor or become an FTI translator, please write to us – we could always use your help!


Contributors: These are article writers and mentors commissioned to write for the Journal. We need writers experienced in scholarship, to include both scholars within Universities and activists, or any-one well-versed in scholarship and Fair Trade issues — people who understand the fine lines between causal explanation, interpretation and objective evidence.



JOIN THE FTI HERE £10, $13, €12

The team is launching the Journal of Fair Trade and the Fair Trade Initiative with the financial support of the Pluto Educational Trust (PET) and Pluto Journals. Pluto Journals covenants all of its profits to PET.

Our fundraising is targeted to achieve the following within the next 12 months:

1. Support outreach and participation in key Fair Trade forums and events
2. Design/launch an interactive Fair Trade Initiative Forum website and debate platform in English (later Spanish)
3. Identify contributors and mentors and provide support for internships for 2018-2019

How are we doing?