chapter  10
16 Pages

Valuing unpaid labour in community Fair Trade products

A case study of the contract between The Body Shop International and a Nicaraguan sesame cooperative* †
WithFelicity Butler, Catherine Hoskyns

155This article discusses a case study of an innovative community fair trade pricing model that includes recognition for the unpaid work of women. It argues that women’s unpaid work represents an important input into production which should be valued and remunerated within a corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda. This pricing model is a joint project between The Body Shop International and its partner, Cooperativa Juan Francisco Paz Silva, a sesame-producing cooperative in Nicaragua. An important aspect of the initiative is that by recognizing the unpaid work of women, which has always been taken for granted, the inequality buried at a deeper societal and cultural level can be addressed directly. The findings of the study show that despite the uneven impact of fair trade on gender in the household, the recognition of the unpaid work of women in the price paid for sesame, coupled with other enabling factors explored in the chapter, can have a positive impact. This has implications for policy, and the structure of the economy as a whole.