How far is it possible to ensure that all producers of food and goods are fairly rewarded?

YES: Effective systems and mechanisms at the global, regional and national levels make it highly possible for producers of food and goods to be fairly rewarded for their work.

  1. National labor laws and regulation of employers in more developed countries ensure a fair living wage for workers producing goods in most sectors across the country, such as through minimum wage laws and trade union representation.

  2. Increasing consumer attention to the welfare of food and goods producers, such as the growing ethical consumption movement, pressurizes more businesses to pay fair prices to them.

  3. More businesses and corporations also see the pragmatic dimensions of paying fair wages to employees and suppliers of primary products, as doing so ensures happy workers and continued productivity in many sectors.

  4. Previously exploited producers of goods and services at the primary level, such as farmers in developing countries, are increasingly empowered by access to technology, organizing themselves into communities and groups, such as farmers’ cooperatives, which enable them to command fairer pricing of their goods by external purchasers.

NO: Ineffective systems and mechanisms at the global, regional and national levels undermine the welfare of producers of food and goods, making fair compensation for them a difficult or impossible challenge. 

  1. Labor laws in some countries may be flouted or ignored by unscrupulous employers due to the lack of regulation and enforcement, making the underpayment or exploitation of workers a common trend.

  2. Despite the growing ethical consumption movement, many consumers today remain ignorant about the unfair and exploitative practices on producers of food and goods in poor countries, making their continued exploitation by corporations inevitable.

  3. Businesses and corporations may be ruthlessly pragmatic in their practices and choose to operate in countries where legal protections governing fair employment and payment are non-existent or circumvented through collusion with corrupt local officials, thereby aggravating inequitable economic conditions.

  4. The organization of poor producers of goods and services into groups to demand for fairer rewards may trigger alarm in the authorities governing repressive states, who in turn suppress such movements with the use of force and violence, making fair remuneration impossible.