The ethical trade movement has come a long way since the launch of the Max Havelaar certification mark in the Netherlands in 1988. Having been founded by activists, the movement can no longer be defined merely as a campaign. Ethical trade has evolved constantly during the past 20 years but while it has arguably grown beyond many participants’ most optimistic hopes, there is no feeling on the part of strategists of the concept having ‘arrived’.This briefing looks at how Fairtrade cotton is developing as a category, reports on recent notable events and examines the challenges and opportunities this product area presents, while also looking at some of the broader issues facing the ethical goods market in general.

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