Research for the Fair Trade, Employment and Poverty Reduction Project (FTEPR) in Ethiopia and Uganda is gathering new evidence on the consequences of Fair Trade for poor people engaged in wage labour for certified producers. This has broader significance for understanding the mechanisms through which agricultural commodity exports affect the welfare of poor people. This paper discusses the methodological contribution of this research, contrasting the project with standard approaches to rural development economics research and in particular with the shortcomings of the vast majority of research on the impact of Fair Trade. The paper highlights four methodological innovations. First, in marked contrast to virtually all previous evaluations of fair trade schemes, FTEPR methods were designed specifically to collect evidence on wage workers rather than producers. Second, the project adopted a form of contrastive venue-based sampling, aided by the use of GPS devices and handheld computers (PDAs). Third, within the selected research sites, stratified random sampling procedures were based on clearly identifiable ‘residential units’ as opposed to ill-defined ‘households’. And, fourth, when constructing a ‘household roster’ the research used an economic definition rather than the more common and often misleading residential rules.
I do chip carving (art/designs on wooden products). My daughter gave me a purple heart board to work with. Though the wood is extremely pretty, it is one of the most difficult to work with. At times when working (cutting into the work) with my chip carving knife it sounds like cutting into metal. My actual times to complete a project expanded from 3 to 4 times the effort compared to the same project on Bass Wood or Tupelo. I have other wood carver friends that refuse to work with Purple Heart because of the extra effort involved. I personally think the extra effort is worth it, for the results obtained.