The accounting and accountability practices of Fairtrade International (FLO)

Homaira Semeen (Corresponding Author), Muhammad Azizul Islam, Annette Quayle

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Abstract

This study examines the accounting and accountability practices of Fairtrade International (FLO), one of the largest Fair Trade umbrella organizations. Our aim is to explore whether new forms of accounting and related disclosures emerge in the reporting practices of FLO and how these reflect their self-declared social mission towards the emancipation and sustainability of producers. Using thematic analysis and reflecting on Bourdieu’s theory of symbolic power, we analyse FLO’s reporting practices from 2006 to 2013. Our findings reveal that FLO mobilises the taken-for-granted images and symbols of ’fairness’ in the Fair Trade system by using descriptive statistics of Fair Trade premium distributions and pictures of producers but keeps silent to current concerns surrounding the limitations of Fair Trade. Such findings extend important insights into how new forms of accounting and related disclosure are used to legitimise the practice of Fair Trade.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-187
Number of pages18
JournalSocial and Environmental Accountability Journal
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

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Fair trade
Accountability
Disclosure
Thematic analysis
Emancipation
Fairness
Symbol
Sustainability
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Keywords

  • accounting
  • fair trade
  • symbolic power

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The accounting and accountability practices of Fairtrade International (FLO). / Semeen, Homaira (Corresponding Author); Islam, Muhammad Azizul; Quayle, Annette.

In: Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, Vol. 36, No. 3, 01.11.2016, p. 170-187.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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