Summary: Domestic Fair Trade: Opportunities for New York State Agriculture?
On November 12, the Cornell Farmworker Program will bring together a group of faculty,
extension professionals, and agricultural producers to discuss future research directions on fair
trade opportunities for NYS. Our discussion will focus on three synergistic research components
that will offer evidence-based observations on the perspectives of consumers, farmworkers, and
producers. We will examine how we might conduct research on a series of basic questions: Are
consumers willing to pay more for a product that will support a living wage? How much are they
willing to pay? How should the premium be divided between workers and producers, and what
are the specific mechanisms to ensure that the premium reaches farmworkers? Through what
mechanisms should the premium be allocated to workers? How much premium is needed to
cover grower investments and offer meaningful benefits to workers? What certification system
will ensure that the premium is paid to its appropriate beneficiary? How can current legislative
and regulatory processes be changed to promote fair trade? We anticipate that other areas of
inquiry may evolve through our discussion.