This year, the International Development Conference will highlight the theoretical development studies and policy research that play a predominant role in shaping development projects. When concrete, tangible policies and projects are implemented, theory and practice often fail to coincide. Development solutions and initiatives, as well as daily livelihood decisions, executed by an array of actors - from large development players to individual households - affect the lives of citizens and underdeveloped areas throughout the world. As such, critical reflections on ongoing development efforts, common consumption decisions and ingrained aspects of the world economy highlight that, while considerable victories have been attained to achieve a more just, prosperous and equitable world, attempts at reforms and aids are not without their drawbacks. 

The controversy surrounding the involvement of religious aid organizations may politicize and undermine efforts to eliminate poverty and obtain relief. Attempts to regulate small scale gold mining, while environmentally necessary, may fail to address the dilemma of gold demand in shaping the persistence of artisans gold mining. Efforts to democratize and increase the transparency of the international trade regime may succeed in incorporating sustainability as a core principal of global commerce, but tedious institutional reform may not reflect the urgency of climate change. Alongside the IDC 2017’s thematic discussions, which will explore these and more concrete development efforts through a critical lens, the conference will also host a selection of Canadian NGOs, businesses, and student researchers to showcase the diversity and innovation of new ideas and efforts shaping the development sectors today. 


Saturday, February 11 • 10:15 - 12:15
Buying Justice: Exploring Fair Trade and the Meaning Behind the Mark

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As one brand or another, we have all seen Fair Trade at some point in our lives. Whether it marks our favourite coffee, artisanal handicrafts at retail outlets, or fresh produce at our super markets, Fair Trade is readily available for our purchase. However, the actual meaning of the Fair Trade logo may be as diverse as the products it labels. Fair Trade producer cooperatives, institutions, businesses, and consumers each have unique frameworks of understanding, applying, and maintaining the integrity of the Fair Trade mark. For us as consumers of these products, it is worth our time to explore the diversity of meaning behind the Fair Trade mark and different ways of interpreting and incorporating fair practices into business. So, in honour of UTSC being certified as  Canada’s 15th Fair Trade Campus by Fair Trade Canada, the IDC 2017 will set out to explore the complexities of ‘fairness’ and Fair Trade. Together, with a host of Toronto businesses, academics, and Canadian Fair Trade representatives we will explore the diversity of meanings behind Fair Trade, the applicability of it as a business model in Toronto, and what ‘fair’ means to us as everyday consumers.



Jose Abad-Puelles was formerly the Category and Supply Chain Specialist for Coffee at Fairtrade Canada and now presently serves as the Coffee Account Manager for Canada. Jose was raised in a small farm in Northern Peru; there, he experienced all the challenges and struggles that small... Read More →


Nadia Harduar is the Sustainability Project Coordinator at the University of Toronto Scarborough with a Master of Environmental Science Degree. She is the Chair of the Sustainability Food User Sub Committee and worked alongside the Business Development Office and SCSU over the last... Read More →
avatar for DR. DARRYL REED


Darryl Reed is Associate Professor in the Division of Social Science at York University and teaches in the Business & Society Program. He has a PhD in political economy and public policy (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, ’95) and a PhD in social ethics (University... Read More →


Derek Zavislake, co-founder of Merchants of Green Coffee with his brother Brad, is obsessed with delivering the freshest cup of coffee possible. The 20-year-old Toronto company imports and markets premium unroasted coffee beans from farmers around the world for consumers and some... Read More →

Saturday February 11, 2017 10:15 - 12:15
MW 120

Attendees (6)