Fair Trade Learning – Video, Tools, Research

Watch this 3-minute overview of Fair Trade Learning

Fair Trade Learning from Kindea Labs on Vimeo.

Join the Movement, Use the Tools, Build on the Research

Research demonstrates that most host communities that receive international volunteers and service-learning students would like to continue doing so, but under better terms. But clarifying the most appropriate terms is not simple. In a confusing global partnership process, agreeing upon and honoring better terms requires a clear strategy.

Fair Trade Learning has emerged as one such strategy. To make sure your volunteering or learning experience is a fair trade:  

  1. Investigate whether your university, school, college, church, temple, mosque, or nonprofit volunteer provider practices FTL principles
    1. Share the video with friends, other prospective volunteers, and group leaders, and ask whether your institution is engaging partnerships in ways that embrace the 4 C’s: Community-driven, Caring credibly, Capital conscious, and Continuously connecting (for a more complete list of FTL issues, check out the 12 questions on p. 99 here, or use the rubric below).
  2. If you’re a development practitioner or educator working with partnerships for cooperative development and global learning, consider the Fair Trade Learning Rubric as a tool to advance conversation on FTL commitments in new and existing partnerships.
  3. If you’re an educator, use The University of Kentucky’s Fair Trade Learning resource for course and program planning and dialogue featured as part of their Education Abroad Faculty Toolkit.
  4. To better understand why Caring Credibly includes avoiding clinical placements in health settings, visit articles on the topic on NPR, in The Chronicle of Higher Education, or numerous resources compiled by the GASP Working Group.
  5. To better understand why Caring Credibly includes avoiding orphanage tourism, read articles on the topic in The Guardian or visit the global, interagency initiative of the Better Volunteering, Better Care Network.
  6. If you’re a researcher or development practitioner, and would like to engage the FTL literature or see where others are presenting on the topic, visit
    1. Hartman, E. (2015). Fair trade learning: A framework for ethical global partnerships. In M.A. Larsen, (Ed.), International Service Learning: Engaging Host Communities (Routledge Research in International and Comparative Education)
    2. Warren, KS and Quezada-Grant, A. (2015). Transformative Learning or Poverty Tourism? Ethical Considerations for Community Engagement Service-Learning Study Abroad Programs. Rhode Island Campus Compact Statewide Meeting.
    3. Tansey, J., Hartman, E., Kuhn, L., & Ogden, A. (2015, Mar 26). International education and ethical community partnerships: Considering Fair Trade Learning. Presented at The Forum on Education Abroad Conference, New Orleans, LA.
    4. Prado, P., Quezada-Grant, A., & Warren, K. (2014). “From poverty tourism to Fair Trade Learning: Best practices for ethical and responsible global service learning community engagement in Latin America.” 43rd National Society for Experiential Education Conference. Baltimore, MD.
    5. Hartman, E., Morris-Paris, C., & Blache-Cohen, B. (2014). Fair trade learning: Ethical standards for international volunteer tourism. Tourism and Hospitality Research.
    6. Hartman, E. & Chaire, C. (2014). Market incentives and international volunteers: The development and evaluation of fair trade learning. The Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education.
    7. Hartman, E., Morris-Paris, C., & Blache-Cohen, B. (2013). Tourism and transparency: Navigating ethical risks in voluntourism with fair trade learning. Africa Insight (42)2.

Hartman, Eric (