> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 23 February 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446473016
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

Unfair Trade

The shocking truth behind ‘ethical’ business

From fair trade to unfair trade: why the world's poor continue to lose out in the global market - and what can be done about it.

Many of our favourite brands now openly espouse 'ethical' credentials, so how is it that they can import billions of pounds' worth of goods from the developing world every year while leaving the people who produce them barely scraping a living? Are they being cynically opportunistic? Or is it that global commerce will always be incompatible with the eradication of poverty? And, if so, are charity and fair trade initiatives the only way forward?

In Unfair Trade Conor Woodman travels the world - from Nicaragua to the Congo and from Laos to Afghanistan - to establish the truth. In the course of his journeys he uncovers some truly shocking stories about the way big business operates, but he also sees a way forward that could reconcile the apparently irreconcilable.

  • Pub date: 23 February 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446473016
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

About the Author

Conor Woodman

Conor Woodman is an economist, author and presenter. His first book Around the World in 80 Trades: The Adventure Capitalist (2009) and the accompanying four-part television series for Channel 4 tell the story of how he left his job, sold his London flat and embarked on a round-the-world trading adventure. Travelling through four continents in five months, he turned his hand to making a profit out of everything from camels in Sudan to inflatable surfboards in Mexico, to discover how real people make real money in real markets. His 2012 book Unfair Trade was longlisted for the prestigious Orwell Prize for political writing. Visit his website at www.conorwoodman.com

Praise for Unfair Trade

“Conor Woodman's Unfair Trade is proof that economics can be both vivid and accessible. By rootling through the developing world's sweatshops, plantations and mines he explores whether Big Business can also be Ethical Business. Read this book and you will never look at the goods in a high street shop window in quite the same way”

Tim Butcher

“Conor Woodman takes the dismal out of the dismal science. He's written an alternative travel guide to the global economy”

Liam Halligan, Sunday Telegraph

“Many books denounce rapacious Western corporations, but few combine - as Woodman's does - first-hand global reportage with practical advice on change. From Congo to China, and from chocolate to cotton, he seeks commerce with a conscience”

i, Independent

“Conor Woodman's bold new book reminds us of the basic questions that every right-thinking consumer ought to ask ... as a work of journalistic reportage, this book scores very highly”


“Woodman offers (an) alternative and compelling world view”

Business Destinations

“Journalist and former City trader Conor Woodman travels from China to Afghanistan to investigate the issue. Unlike other polemics on this subject, Woodman doesn’t preach and has a cool eye”

5 stars, Review, Daily Telegraph

“The book is simply written, low on inflammatory language: Woodman is keen to let his research do the talking, and it does”


Related titles