Associated with socially conscious consumption, the fair trade label is gracing a number of products, from bananas to soccer balls, entering mainstream retail outlets.
You may know fair trade’s basic premise–paying producers in developing nations a fair price for their goods–but what else does fair trade entail? What else should you know about what’s behind the label?
Be a Conscious Consumer
Learn more about Fair Trade, the Global Economy, and International Labor Rights
Support Micro-Lending & Economic Development
Learn About & Combat Human Trafficking
Videos About Fair Trade
Videos About Human Trafficking
- Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices by Julie Clawson
- Good News About Injustice, Updated 10th Anniversary Edition: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World by Gary A. Haugen
Globalization and Ethical Consumption
- Fair Trade: Market Driven Ethical Consumption by Alex Nicholls
- The Moral Measure of the Economy by Chuck Collins and Mary Wright
- The True Cost of Low Prices: The Violence of Globalization by Vincent A. Gallagher
Economic Development through Fair Trade, Micro-loans, and Empowering and Educating Women and Girls
- Fair Trade for All: How Trade can Promote Development by Joseph E. Stiglitz & Andrew Charlton
- Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus
- Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Sheryl WuDunn, Nicholas D. Kristofby
- Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
- Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson
Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. ( World Fair Trade Organization)
Fair Trade Principles
- 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
To learn more about these fair trade principles, visit www.fairtradefederation.org
Why Buy Fair Trade? Because…
It offers respect for the hard work of talented people.
It provides a sustainable way of life for developing communities.
Fair trade is anti-slavery and anti-child labor.
It supports the conservation of the environment.
It empowers women and minorities.
Fair Trade FAQ’s:
Does my purchase make a difference?
Definitely! Every time you choose to purchase a fair trade item, you support a just and sustainable global economic system. Every purchase made is a step forward towards the eradication of global poverty.
Do Fair Trade goods cost more than conventional products?
Not necessarily, because fair trade organizations work directly with producers, cutting our exploitative middlemen. This way, they keep products affordable for consumers and return a greater percentage of the price to the producers. Some products, however, may seem pricier than what you could purchase at a mass manufacturer store, but that it because many of those items are made by people who are receiving little or no pay for their work. So you may pay a little bit more for a Fair Trade item, but you are guaranteed quality and peace of mind
What is the difference between Fair Trade and Free Trade?
Free-trade is the movement of goods between countries without government restrictions to improve efficiency. Unfortunately, sometimes this creates a global “race to the bottom” as countries look to increase market share by lowering costs, wages, safety, and environmental regulations, among other standards. Fair Trade, on the other hand, is a consumer driven market mechanism that takes a holistic approach to the supply chain and production of goods and seeks to correct some of the largest market failures in the global trading system. This means creating long-term relationships with producers (generally disadvantaged producers in the developing world) based on transparency, dialogue and respect, paying fair wages, fostering development, providing technical and financial assistance, and keeping environmental standards. Because of the Fair Trade principles and certification process, competitors play on a more level and ethical playing field.
How do I identify Fair Trade?
Consumers should check if the company offering the product is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, The Fair Trade Federation, or, in the case of agricultural products, if it has been certified by TransFairUSA. WFTO & FTF members (like our partner/supplier, Trade as One) are fully committed to Fair Trade practices no matter the product category being sold. TransFairUSA certifies individual products coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, etc.
How can I help Fair Trade grow?
- Implement a Good News Goods Fair Trade ministry at your church
- Educate your friends and family about fair trade
- Choose fair trade alternatives when possible
- Demand fair trade products at your local store & at work