Fair trade demands equality, respect, and sustainability at all levels of society.
Fair Trade addresses poverty in developing countries by offering alternatives to sweatshop employment. It enables indigenous artisans, workers and farmers to develop sustainable livelihoods in their traditional rural environments through worker-owned cooperatives and family farms. It helps them develop skills to manage their enterprises. It provides sustainable wages in a local context. It promotes safe, humane working conditions. It pays fairly and promptly. It promotes equity in world trade. It protects children from exploitation. It cultivates environmental stewardship and respects cultural identity.
(for more on these principles visit http://www.fair-trade-hub.com/support-files/fair-trade-definition.pdf)
How Fair Trade benefits:
- Empowers producers as stakeholders in their own organization,
- Empowers producers to achieve greater equity in international trade,
- Provides social and environmental standards for production,
- Ensures healthy living conditions and safe working environments
- Establishes a fair price for products
- Provides economic security and self-sufficiency
- Provides a steady market for handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate and flowers
- Provides access to quality agricultural and artisan items, often not available in our own hemisphere
- Allows the consumer to support social and economic justice with his or her pocketbook.
- Provides a wide selection of arts and crafts which enhance our lives and increase our appreciation of other cultures
- Provides a model for long-term trade relationships, which can generate revenue to provide health clinics, education, and other services
- Provides entrepreneurial education and opportunity, to formerly disadvantaged producers.
- Encourages environmentally sustainable practices in farming and use of natural resources.
For more information:
Check out these Organizations to learn about national and international fair trade initiatives or to get involved with the fair trade movement.