Contemporary Debates in Fair Trade

How does sustainability look in the cannabis industry and what are the challenges to certification and ethical consumerism?

Project Abstract

What are the key debates in the fair trade movement at this time? How does sustainability look in the cannabis industry and what are the challenges to certification and ethical consumerism? How are brands and companies in the apparel sector organized?

This summer I worked as a research assistant for Dr. Elizabeth Bennett on a number of different projects. Over spring term I worked with Dr. Bennett as a research assistant for a book chapter she was writing on fair trade. I helped by gathering literature (finding and reviewing hundreds of articles, reports, books etc.), organizing said literature by theme/topic in a working outline, and, when we got the editor’s comments back in the summer, providing suggestions for revision for the final draft. Also over the summer I worked on several different projects, including helping to organize and draft a social science poster to be presented at the Fair Trade International Symposium in Portsmouth, England. The poster was a summary of three of Dr. Bennett’s articles on sustainability certifications in the cannabis industry, and I read said articles, did research on how to draft a social science poster, and attended a cannabis workshop to prepare for the project. Additionally, I helped format the reference list for the fair trade chapter, making sure everything was in the correct APA style. I also have done some work gathering literature for another article, similar to what I did in the spring, this time on governance and regulation, looking for resources online and adding them to the database Mendeley. My final project was to gather information about the apparel sector and the leading companies within it, looking into their social corporate responsibility policies and trade associations. Working with Dr. Bennett this past spring and summer has been a truly incredible experience and I’m so glad L&C supports student-faculty research such as this!

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