What is “fair trade?”
Fair trade is a social movement whose goal is to help producers in developing nations achieve better trade conditions and promote sustainable farming.
Those participating in the movement advocate for improved social and economical standards. Fair trade works towards better prices, better working conditions, and better terms of trade. It works by making sure the money spent on products reaches the bottom of the production line. By paying just a small amount more for the products and buying them through companies that participate in fair trade, you are guaranteeing that the ones responsible for the products are benefiting from it as well as the companies selling them.
Products such as coffee, chocolate, clothing, and fresh produce are created by hard working people living in developing nations, and then sold through companies around the world, and part of the profits go directly back to the ones that made the products.
If your values include helping the people of the world that are less fortunate and improving the overall relations and conditions of our planet, then this movement should relate to you. Joining the movement doesn’t have to mean any big life changes, though. Just by purchasing things that are fair trade instead of buying some of your things elsewhere means you’re helping tremendously with the cause.
The fair trade movement is based on ten basic principles that inspire and motivate the people involved:
1) Opportunities for disadvantaged producers. This means making sure the people that produce the goods are benefitted from the sale of them, no matter what economic conditions they’re in.
2) Transparency and accountability. The organization involved employees, members, and producers in their decision making process. It provides trading partners with all the necessary information.
3) Fair trading practices. The organization trades with concern for the wellbeing of the producers.
4) Suppliers are respectful to contracts and agreements made.
5) Payment of a fair price. Producers are compensated with amounts they seem fair and pays equally to men and women.
6) Ensuring no child or forced labor. The organization ensures no one is forced into the labor and no child labor laws are broken.
7) Commitment to non-discrimination, gender equity, women’s economic empowerment and freedom of association. The organization does not discriminate against anyone for anything, and has strict methods in place for the gender equity, and respects the rights of all employees to form unions Ensuring good working conditions. The quality of life and conditions of the workplace for the producers is a high priority.
8) Providing capacity building. The organizations helps its employees expand their abilities and develop important skills for the workplace.
9) Promoting fair trade. Fair trade raises awareness for their cause and provides necessary information to everyone involved in the process.
10) Respect for the environment. The organization buys locally when possible and uses all raw materials possible from sustainable sources.
These principles clearly show that the Fair Trade movement is an amazing thing for our planet for many different reasons. It helps the people, the earth, and the economy. It’s nothing but benefits. Fair trade products can be purchased from many websites and several locations, such as World Crafts gift shop across from Lehman’s store in Kidron, Ohio. Lehman’s itself also carries many products made with fair trade ingredients – coffee, teas and soaps, to name a few.