By Conor Woodman
Why the world's poor continue to lose out in the global market -- and what can be done about it.
How is it that our favourite brands can import billions of pounds' worth of goods from the developing world every year, and yet leave the people who produce them barely scraping a living? Is it that big business is incompatible with the eradication of poverty? And, if so, are charity and fair trade initiatives the only way forward?
In Unfair Trade Conor Woodman traces a range of products back to their source to uncover who precisely is benefitting and who is losing out. He goes diving with lobster fishermen in Nicaragua who are dying in their hundreds to keep the restaurant tables of the US well stocked. He ventures into war-torn Congo to find out what the developed world's insatiable demand for tin means for local miners. And he risks falling foul of the authorities in Laos as he covertly visits the country's burgeoning rubber plantations, established to supply Chinese factories that in turn supply the West with consumer goods.
In the process, he tests accepted economic wisdom on the best way to create a fairer world -- and suggests a simpler but potentially far more radical solution.
"An intriguing tale of the challenging condition of farmers/ workers in the developing world forming the foundation of much of world's key raw materials yet themselves living only on daily subsistence. What is much much appreciated is the passion the author displays in this work - wherein he himself has traveled across countries of the globe and understood the plight of Chinese factory workers, African coffee workers, Afghanistan's weed farmers etc. The fact that story comes from the horse's mouth adds the drama & authenticity which one needs in books like these. [...] Connor starts with how we as consumers are increasingly becoming ethical centric in terms of goods we buy. We trust big organizations to find the best way to their raw material suppliers problem and believe when they say 'we are ethically conscious'. Are they really doing enough? Sometimes yes and sometimes not. [...] Great Read if you are intrigued by Company CSR and how & why should a company execute its CSR policies"
Table of Contents of Unfair Trade
- To Die For - Nicaragua: The Miskito Coast
- Keen to Be Green - The UK: The Ethical Marketplace
- Bull in a China Shop - China: The Pearl River Delta
- Rubber-Stamped - Laos: Luang Namtha Province
- A Mine of Disinformation - Congo: South Kivu
- Poppycock - Afghanistan: Rubat Sangi
- Do It Yourself - Tanzania: Mount Kilimanjaro
- Cottoning On - Côte d'Ivoire: The Rebel North
- Concluding Thoughts