What's Fair Trade?

About Fair Trade

What is Fair Trade?

 Fair Trade means an equitable and fair partnership between global marketers and producers in Asia, Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world. A fair trade partnership works to provide low-income artisans and farmers with a living wage for their work.
Source: Fair Trade Federation

Fair Trade Criteria:

* Paying a fair wage in the local context
* Offering employees opportunities for advancement
* Engaging in environmentally sustainable practices
* Being open to public accountability
* Building long-term trade relationships
* Providing healthy and safe working conditions within the local context
* Providing financial and technical assistance to producers whenever possible
* Ensuring that there is no abuse of child labor
Source: Fair Trade Federation

Why Fair Trade?

Our consumer spending choices affect people's lives around the world. The products we enjoy are often made in conditions that harm workers, communities and the environment. But increasingly consumers are demanding more humane, more environmentally sensitive products. In today's world economy, where profits rule and small-scale producers are left out of the bargaining process, farmers, craft producers, and other workers are often left without resources or hope for their future. Fair Trade helps exploited producers escape from this cycle and gives them a way to maintain their traditional lifestyles with dignity. What Fair Trade Products are Available? Fair Trade encompasses a range of goods, from agricultural products from the global South like coffee, chocolate, tea, and bananas, to handcrafts like clothing, household items, and decorative arts.

What is Fair Trade?

Fair trade is a system of exchange that seeks to create greater equity and partnership in international trading system by

* Creating Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers
* Developing Transparent and Accountable Relationships
* Building Capacity
* Promoting Fair Trade
* Paying Promptly and Fairly
* Supporting Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
* Ensuring the Rights of Children
* Cultivating Environmental Stewardship
* Respecting Cultural Identity By approaching development as a whole process (rather than just a fair price), fair trade organizations cultivate partnerships with their suppliers and contribute to the development of communities. Fair trade is not about charity; it uses a fairer system of exchange to empower producers and to create sustainable, positive change.

What does that really mean?

First and foremost, fair trade is about offering great products to the public. Consumers can choose fairly traded clothing, coffee, food, furniture, home décor, house wares, jewelry, tea, toys, personal accessories, and many other products. Second, fair trade is about keeping prices affordable for consumers while returning a higher amount of the producers. This relationship is made by possible, because fair traders typically work directly with artisans and farmers, cutting out the middle men who increase the price at each level – enabling retail products to remain competitively priced in respect to their conventional counterparts, while more fairly compensating producers. Finally, fair trade makes a tremendous impact on communities. Children’s school fees are paid; nutritional needs met; health care costs are covered; the poor, especially women, are empowered; the environmental impact of production, sourcing, and transport is mitigated to the fullest extent possible. Such an impact is created, because fair trade approaches development as a holistic process.

Does fair trade make a difference?

 In producer communities, schools are built, wells constructed, children attend school, and other signs clearly indicate that the income generated by fair trade sales positively resonate in a community. In intangible ways, one can note the impact of fair trade, as well. Cultural techniques are revived; women become valued members of their societies; alternative production methods preserve biodiversity; small and medium sized enterprises in the developing world increase their capacity. Through this and other evidence we know that lives have been positively changed, because of fair trade.
Information provided by the Fair Trade Federation