If we genuinely want to help reduce global poverty, small rural producers need to have control of the resources and regulatory bodies that affect their lives. Without political empowerment, the danger is “the increasing encroachment of corporate values and interests into the governance of fair trade”. Small producers deserve the opportunity to become more than just suppliers of raw materials for corporations in developed countries. Please read Peter Utting’s article The Challenge of Political Empowerment for an in depth understanding of this critical issue. Mr Utting is Deputy Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.