Questions around values – and the socially constructed process of valuing – that underpin ethical sourcing are increasingly central to debates around both the impacts of ethical trade and its broader contribution to sustainable livelihoods. Issues such as gender equality, cultural and biological diversity, health and ecological effects of farming, fair trade and fair prices, agricultural labour, hunger and social justice have combined with more traditional food-related movements, resulting in a global agri-food system within which these issues are increasingly contested (Carolan, 2012, 2013; Friedmann, 2005; Lang, 2010b; Oosterveer and Sonnenfeld, 2012). Renard (2003) has argued that the shared values of consumers – quality, health, nutrition, safety, nature, authenticity, solidarity, aesthetics and ecology – have combined with market-related values of convenience, ease and adaptability to new lifestyles within globally integrated, transnational corporate networks. The ethical sourcing industry certainly promotes ethical trade (products and standards) as central to the aim of reconfiguring global food supply chains in ways that are more socially or environmentally ‘just’; but is also good for business, and a central aspect of how businesses (especially retailers) compete and differentiate their ‘brand’. According to Macdonald and Marshall (2010, pp23-24), CSR and fair and ethical trade initiatives are oriented around discourses of ‘global social justice’ of varying kinds: some emphasize basic rights (such as labour rights), while others are based around concerns for equality (e.g. gender equality). The UK’s Food Ethics Council (2010, p10) considers social justice to include fair shares (equality of outcome), fair play (equality of opportunity) and fair say (autonomy and voice). Some approaches place international trade justice at the centre of fairness, while others focus on the practical development of specific markets for smallholders and ‘the poor’ (Tallontire and Nelson, 2013). Clearly, the meanings of ethical trade are articulated in diverse, and sometimes contradictory, ways. For example, a recent disagreement between UK supermarket chains – over a complaint made by Sainsbury’s and Morrisons to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over Tesco’s ‘Price Promise’

ad campaign – illustrates just how central ‘provenance and ethics’ are to the discussion of ethical trade (and to brand differentiation) in the UK presently. While both Sainsbury’s and Tesco have programmes to help consumers compare products based on price, Sainsbury’s has argued that it is not possible to fairly compare retailers’ own brand products because of differences in companies’ supply chain ethics. (Sainsbury’s claims their own label products ensure a ‘fair deal for producers, regardless of market forces’, see Chapman, 2013a,b,c.) While Tesco may have won the battle (the ASA ruled that Tesco could legitimately compare fresh food and own-brand products across the market because they ‘met the same need’), Sainsbury’s retaliated with an ad campaign slamming Tesco’s ethics, using images of fair trade bananas and British ham with the slogan, ‘Same Price, Different Values’ (see Chapman, 2013d). Often the narratives of fairness – or ‘political ecological imaginary’ (according to Goodman, 2004, p896) – promoted by retailers and Northern fair/ethical trade movements conceal various paradoxes, however, and only loosely correspond to the experiences of producers (Elias and Saussey, 2013, p159). Food producers (and accompanying social movement and industry organizations) in the global South continue to call for better corporate accountability and more producer participation in challenging the status quo of unequal power relations in global agriculture, trade and consumption, and for ‘all sections of society [to] converge upon their visions and convictions, finding common ground for collective action that can bring about the transformation required to ensure planetary well-being for all’.1 In summarizing the large body of existing research on ethical sourcing, this chapter develops the argument that ethical trade may not reflect the values of producers in the South. Standards themselves are highly ideational: that is, they reflect particular constructs of well-being and ethics depending on who is defining the standards, the goals or the desired outcomes of ethical trade schemes (Blowfield, 2003a). But this is not straightforward. Ethical trade has been criticized for representing a neo-liberal response to pressures for social and environmental justice that form part of the broader moral project of economic globalization (Dolan, 2008); a form of ‘neo-liberal technology of governance’ or ‘technology of power’ (see Busch, 2010). In particular, it has been loudly accused of failing to incorporate Southern smallholder womens’ perspectives on social well-being, environmental sustainability or sustainable livelihoods, and for institutionalizing the ethical values of Northern consumers, NGOs, governments and retailers. At the same time, however, Southern actors have also engaged with the project of influencing, adapting and expanding the content and institutional processes of ethical trade to better reflect local needs (see, for example, Friedberg and Goldstein, 2011; Hughes et al., 2013; Smith and Loker, 2012; Smith and Lyons, 2011). From the literature presented in this chapter (and also the next), a better understanding of the socially constructed nature of ethical standards and regulations emerges: how are the meanings of ‘ethicality’ differentially embedded,

constructed and negotiated at the global and local levels? Are ethical/fair trade standards as central to smallholder constructions of livelihoods as the industry itself promotes, and are standards the appropriate mechanism through which to address smallholder livelihoods at all? How do the perspectives of Southern women smallholders themselves fit into this global picture?