Fairtrade Towns

Alastair Smith
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  • Cardiff
  • United Kingdom
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Alastair Smith's Friends

  • Imtisanen
  • Matthew Anderson
  • abena boahene
  • Betsy Reed
  • Youth for Fair Trade
  • David Williams
  • Victor Lopez Saavedra
  • Toby Quantrill
  • Bruce Crowther

Alastair Smith's Discussions

Fair Trade International Symposium

Following on from the success of the first three Fair Trade International Symposiums held in Montreal (2002 and 2006) and Montpellier (2008), a 4th symposium will be held at Liverpool Hope Business…Continue

Started Feb 3, 2012

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Alastair Smith's Page

All about me!


Alastair is a researcher at the ESRC Research Centre for Business, Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society and the School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University. His work concerns the use of Fair Trade governance by public authorities to achieve the objectives of Sustainable Development. You can access his Phd thesis here.

Career Experience and Qualifications

Alastair graduated from the University of York in 2004 with a First Class Honours degree in History and Politics. After a six month period working in the north of England in a mixture of market research and financial management, Alastair travelled to Latin America to apply his experience in the context to micro-business development projects. Among the projects with which he had contact, Alastair spent time with an indigenous jam making project in Quetzatenango in the highlands of Guatemala, and an agro-tourism project in the Sacred Valley, Peru. Specifically, he was involved in consulting local groups on market research and marketing strategies (as well as designing and building the occasional bit of physical infrastructure).

Returning to the UK in the autumn of 2005, Alastair studied at Queen Elizabeth House, Centre for Development Studies at the University of Oxford, under the ESRC 2+2 studentship program. This course provided an interdisciplinary perspective (Alastair took foundation courses in Anthropology and Economics to compliment his undergraduate training in History and Politics) on a broad range of issues that face the developing world. As part of the course Alastair also completed ESRC accredited methods training.

It was this broad approach that Alastair applied to his dissertation that covered the subject of Fair Trade and its relationship to process of sustainable development. Specifically, the work addressed the applicability of Fairtrade certification to the value chain of garment production. In 2007 Alastair graduated with an MPhil in Development Studies.

After a brief break as a foreign language teacher, Alastair moved to the ESRC Centre for Business Relationship, Accountable, Sustainability and Society, to complete his PhD in association with the School of City and Regional Planning at Cardiff University.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Smith, Alastair M. (2009), "Fair Trade Diversification and Structural Change: Towards a broader framework of analysis", Oxford Journal of Development Studies. Vol. 37 No. 4.

Smith, Alastair M. (2009), "Evaluating the Criticisms of Fair Trade: How strong is the argument that consumers and businesses should abandon Fair Trade as a means to socialise their economic decisions?", Economic Affairs. Vol. 19/4.

Consultancy Projects

Fairtrade Foundation. EGALITE, FRATERNITE, SUSTAINABILITE: why the climate revolution must be a fair revolution

Other Outputs

Smith, Alastair M., Creative Public Procurement of Green and Fair, Local and Global. Comment and Analysis Paper. BRASS.

Smith, Alastair M., Fair Trade in the ‘Periphery’: The development of Comercio Justo México and potential lessons for FLO Fairtrade. Comment and Analysis Paper. BRASS.

Smith, Alastair M. (2008), ‘A Response to the Adam Smith Report and A New Way to Think About Measuring the Content of the Fair Trade Cup’. Comment and Analysis Paper. BRASS.

Conference Papers

Smith, Alastair M. (2009), 'FLO Fair Trade Diversification And Structural Change: Building an alternative theoretical argument'. International Workshop: Fair Trade – A Moral Economy? Does Fair Trade Change the Rules of the Economic Game?, CRASSH Centre, Cambridge University, 22 May 2009.

Smith, Alastair M. (2008), ‘Fair Trade: A governance framework to promote sustainable development?’ Fair Trade Conference, University of Swansea, Wales.

Smith, Alastair M. (2008), ‘Fair Trade and Sustainable Development’, Development Studies Association, Welsh Network of Development Researchers Conference: Perspectives on Development V, Gregynog Hall, Powys, Wales.


Alastair has delivered lectures in the following modules:

Local Food and Sustainable Development (MSc.).
Local Food Systems Versus Fair Trade: competing Narratives of Sustainable Development (Click to view presentation).


Alastair has acted as a referee for the following journals:
International Journal of Consumer Studies (2008-)
Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning (2009-)


April 2009 - Developed and coordinated 'Uniting Research, Policy and Practice in Fair
Trade: A Knowledge Exchange Workshop'. St Michael's College. Cardiff.

2009 - Developed and coordinates the Fairness UK network.

Nov-Dec 2008 - Contributor towards TWIN Trading's application for a UK Department for
International Development, Development Awareness Fund. PL 09-10-0115 TWIN.

Comment Wall (3 comments)

At 9:38 on August 8, 2011, Elizabeth Underhill said…
Dear Alastair,

Liverpool Hope University proudly announces our brand new qualification in Fair Trade.

• Learn about the development and structure of Fair Trade, how it works, its impact and guidance on using the FAIRTRADE mark.

• Gain an accredited postgraduate qualification

The course is designed for all those working and volunteering in the fair trade sector including; managers and employees of fair trade organisations, campaigners in Fairtrade Towns and campaign organisations. Plus policy makers.

Delivered by our new Centre for Fair Trade Studies this specialist postgraduate qualification takes place on 16th to 18th September 2011 at Liverpool Hope University’s stunning Hope Park campus. Optional first class bed and breakfast accommodation is available for delegates.

To book a place on our Fair Trade course, or for further information please reply to this post or contact:

Elizabeth Underhill
T: 0151 291 2157
E: underhl@hope.ac.uk

Please feel free to distribute to any interested colleagues or partners who might benefit from attending such a course with other likeminded individuals.
At 12:49 on March 23, 2012, Danny Jang said…

Can you do me a favor?

At 15:37 on April 15, 2015, Imtisanen said…

thank you @Alastair for the reply!! I haven't still figured it out about my final topic but I was thinking on arguing how fair is fair trade here in the UK and something related to ethics and consumerism..probably I want to do the research here in the UK something which I can enjoy.

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