Fair Trade: A Human Journey by Éric St.-Pierre (Translated from the French by Barbara Sandilands, Goose Lane Editions 2012, 240 pages)

With its brightly-colored and striking photographs of people, places, and products, Fair Trade could almost be mistaken for a coffee table book. But Canadian photojournalist Éric St.-Pierre supplies carefully researched and detailed text to accompany his photographs and to explain the impact of fair trade practices on human lives and communities. He travels to 15 countries describing the land, the individuals, and the methods responsible for the production and distribution of coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, rice, shea, cotton, quinoa, and other commodities. In the preface, D’Francisco Van der Hoff Boersma tells us, “Fair trade proposes an alternative based on ideas of social justice, product quality and respect for the environment. It is fuelled by a more direct relationship between producers and consumers, who can finally exercise their decision-making power based on a clear understanding of the true costs of production and the real dangers of social and environmental exploitation.  Its aim is to encourage involvement and solidarity.” With this book, St.-Pierre aims to show us how and why it is possible—and vital—to combine the concept of fairness with the success of trade.  –Kathleen Brewin Lewis, Senior Editor of Flycatcher.

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