Bringing together individuals who share a passion for the future of Fair Trade.


Defining the practices delivering for the most vulnerable farmers, artisans and their families.


Independent academic work promoting all voices.


Championing practices and standards that make a difference.
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Why does the Journal of Fair Trade Exist?

The Journal of Fair Trade, published by Pluto Journals, started in 2018 as a response to the debate, division and argument around the diversification of approaches to fair trade and the lack of narrative and cohesion in thinking about what fair trade is, or should be. This was happening at the same time as watching some of the best practices and practical efforts on the ground being eclipsed and stripped of contentious propositions - like ‘fairness’, redistribution, regeneration, partnership - by other concepts such as sustainability, ethical trade and ESG. So, the Journal is meant to be a platform, a source of evidence-based guidance and a place and means to reboot the fair trade movement.

A main aim of The Journal of Fair Trade is to make a direct link between people who do things, and people who think about them and study them. We publish many voices: academics, producers, coop leaders, researchers, people practicing fair trade and those whose efforts are pushing the front line. Many non-academics and activists have been mentored into the Journal pages already. The range of subjects published so far is very broad.

The Journal has an inclusive and holistic approach: it is not trying to say what's right, which practice, experience, or variant of Fair Trade is best, but to publish genuine and credible work on what is good and so help others to see, learn, apply these models, lessons and ideas.

The Journal of Fair Trade is meant to be critical but inspiring too.


Why is Open Access really important, but also a challenge?

Four years since launching, we’ve transitioned to Open Access, gained DOAJ approval, and can be read here within our ScienceOpen Collection. Alongside the move to Open Access we've been developing a new structure -the Journal of Fair Trade Society - to guide and support the Journal of Fair Trade in coming years.

Open Access has been spectacular for the Journal of Fair Trade:
from a few university libraries to many thousands of readers worldwide. It's exciting to watch this transformation on Science Open, with its deep information and data system showing who, how many, and from where, the Journal of Fair Trade is being accessed, and what is being read.

However, there are challenges too. With libraries no longer paying subscriptions it’s vital for The Journal of Fair Trade, and other Pluto Journals, to reinvent the ‘business model’. This is particularly the case for journals like ours which are not ‘hosted’ by a larger, funded institution. So we are open for and trying many options!


Next Steps from the Journal of Fair Trade meetings

JoFT Society members and supporters aim to meet every 6 months, May and November.

The JoFT Society had its Inaugural meeting in November 2022 . Here you can read the Nov 2022 Inaugural Meeting report . Here you can watch the Nov 2022 Keynote Address by Mohammed Elnaiem, University of Cambridge, on "Fair Trade In A New World Economic Order"

The next step from our JoFT Society 2 Nov 2023 meeting notes and actions we will kick start discussion of “Could we be more than the sum of our parts?” with
one-hour, consultation meetings Jan to Mar 2024

Consultation meeting for Asia time zone
Zoom link: January - Thursday 18th January, 06:00 UK GMT

Consultation meeting for North and South America time zones
Zoom link: February - Thursday 15th February, 17:00 UK GMT

Consultation meeting for Europe/Africa time zones
Zoom link: March- Thursday 14th March, 15:00 UK GMT / 16:00 CET

In April we will collate and write up the meetings, and Share these at our next Journal of Fair Trade Society Meeting scheduled for 9th May 2024, 3pm GMT.

The JoFT Society has had its second and third meetings on 4th May 2023 and 2 Novembers 2023. Here you can read the respective notesMay 2023 JoFT Society Meeting report and the 2 Nov 2023 JoFT Society Meeting report .

Join us. Become a Member!

Open Access: free to read, share, cite and download!

Please consider joining as a Journal of Fair Trade Society member to support and share your passion and knowledge! The Society owns and runs the Journal of Fair Trade. Only members can join the Founding Board. Membership can be as an individual, Social Enterprises or an Ethical Business.

Click here to become a member to help shape the future of the Journal of Fair Trade Society.

All members are eligible for Pluto Books 40% discount valid against any Pluto Book of choice. Upon subscribing as a member of the Journal of Fair Trade Society you will receive the discount code to the email you use for subscription.

Here you can see examples of Fair Trade titles within the Pluto Books publication list

In 2021 Pluto Journals flipped all of its international, radical, scholarly journals, at the cutting edge of Social Science research, into Open Access, hosted on Science Open. Pluto Journals is the very first social science publisher to do this.

Open Access makes sense for the Journal of Fair Trade, because Open Access removes barriers to access and is the way for the Journal of Fair Trade to deliver on its Theory of Change: “The greater the diversity and number of people who read and write for the Journal of Fair Trade, the better and more impactful the ideas developed and published will be, and the more influence on society and business the Journal of Fair Trade Society and our supporters can have."



Information about submissions to the Journal of Fair Trade