Increasing numbers of ethical trade initiatives are being launched, reflecting concerns about the limited benefits that globalisation brings to producers in developing countries. Ethical trade is an information-intensive activity yet little is known about the role of information systems in supporting it. Ethical trade, with its voluntary codes and consumer campaigns, also represents a new approach to interaction between market actors. This form of self-regulation is seen as an alternative to state regulation and sanctions, and more appropriate to a liberalised international economy. This paper provides a summary of the literature concerning ethical trade, self-regulation and the role of information. It presents models and issues in relation to both ethical trade information systems and information and communication technologies. Findings about information systems and ethical trade also advance our understanding of self-regulation.
Manchester, UK, CRC Working Paper, No. 41, 49 pp.