What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is a movement that promotes economic partnerships based on equality, justice and sustainable environmental practices. Fair trade connects consumers in the West with producers from other countries, by emphasizing fair value return, environmental protection, human and workers’ rights.
Fair Trade Principles Include:
- Fair pay
- No child labor allowed
- Creating worker independence and participatory workplaces
- Safe and healthy work conditions
- Gender equality
- Environmental sustainability
- Creating opportunities for low income producers
- Transparent management and commercial relations
The Benefits of Supporting Fair Trade:
- Fair Trade producers decide democratically how to invest their fair trade revenues. Profits are re-invested in local community projects, like health clinics, child care, scholarship programs, and organic certification.
- Artisans and small farmers are guaranteed prices that exceed their production costs, providing adequate income to feed their families, stay out of debt, send their kids to school, and keep their land.
- Producers are able to reduce costs, gain direct access to credit and international markets, and develop the business capacity necessary to successfully compete.
- Workers enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
- Women are assured equal rights and responsibilities
- Environmentally sustainable methods protect artisans’ and farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems and natural resources for future generations
- Cultural identity is preserved through the production and development of products based on producers’ cultural traditions, as adapted for Western markets.
Fair Trade provides us the opportunity to spend our dollars where our values are, and at the same time, provide opportunities for people around the world to earn a living that allows their families to thrive.