La Justicia en el Comercio Justo

La justicia que propone el Comercio Justo es una justicia que trasciende el paradigma limitado de justicia personal pues incluye justicia social y ambiental. En este artículo de Kusikuy, una compañia de ropa de comercio justo, se discute como esto afecta al Comercio Justo como una movimiento o una institución.

Conoce más sobre el Comercio Justo y cómo puedes apoyar solidariamente la justicia en el mundo visitando La Chiwinha, Tu EcoTienda Solidaria.

Fair Trade Institutions

Amartya Sen explains how understanding justice as nyaya, a Sanskrit word which means justice in a larger, holistic sense includes social, environmental, and personal experiences which make up the full essence of justice.  Using a nyaya interpretation of justice to understand Fair Trade as an institution creates a broader understanding of what it can be, rather than a debate on its limitations.  Fair Trade is a transcendental institution in that it creates a form of justice which is utterly new and defies comparison to any former model of justice.   Transparency, training, access to credit, fair wages and safe working conditions are all elements which contribute to Fair Trade's transcendentalism.  However, the unevenness of Fair Trade's application, how it varies from country to country, not by fault of the institution, but due to differences within the countries themselves, effects how Fair Trade is experienced by all.  This erodes its ability of Fair Trade to truly be just and highlights the limitations that Fair Trade has as an institution
Comparing Fair Trade to free trade limits one's understanding of justice by reducing it to a niti argument of right vs wrong, good vs bad, and is not a useful tool for understanding Fair Trade.  Fair Trade institutions build capabilities amongst producers through training and organizational development.  This expansion of capabilities, Sen equates with growing opportunities, freedom, and the realization of justice.   Rawls on the other hand was very concerned with inequalities impeding justice.  Fair Trade is wrought with inequality, from fluctuations in consumer engagement, to limitations in Fair Trade access by gender, culture and country restrictions.  Rawls, in his principles of justice, felt justice should be shared by all, yet Fair Trade seemed to mostly provide justice only for its own members. These arguments illuminate the true collaboration that Fair Trade needs in order to fully realize justice – a collaboration which includes all of society; consumer, countries and governments alike.  Justice is a fog which encompasses all, while Fair Trade is like a baby blanket which partly covers the bed, offering justice for some but not for all.
Understanding Fair Trade through Amartya Sen and John Rawls' definitions of justice, allows for a deeper consideration of justice to arise.  It is beneficial in that new language and ways in which to think about Fair Trade are developed.  This creates new possibilities for the understanding of Fair Trade and discussing it as an institution of justice.  The broadness of Sen's nyaya in today's niti (western) world makes it easy for one to grow impatient with, or simply dismiss, such an interpretation.  However the importance of thinking holistically about trade is imperative in order to truly understand it as a way to advance justice.  Further research is needed in this area.  It is possible that these Fair Trade institutions can be a part of a larger way of realizing justice, or that the idea of Fair Trade in itself can be more broadly applied, thus developing into its own complete fog of universal justice.