This research shows that participation in the cut-flower GVC through Fairtrade has considerable impact on measurable standards. With regard to enabling rights the observations are mixed. Fairtrade has established a more democratic organisational structure in the farms. Also, workers’ representation through the union has been strengthened.
However, producers are eager to postpone negotiating an individual Collective Bargaining Agreement with the union, which would represent an important step in workers their  empowerment process. The attainment of enabling rights, especially collective bargaining, is the ‘social embeddedness’ of the GVC that represents the recognition of workers as social actors. The increased costs of this recognition (i.e increased salaries) are in stark contrast with the pressures to reduce costs deriving from commercial pressures. It is therefore the tension between ‘social and commercial embeddedness’ in the GVC that prevents Fairtrade from fully achieving social upgrading.


Via Trade for Development Centre