Fair Trade

What is Fair Trade?

Currently the most widely recognized definition of fair trade was created by an informal association of the four main Fair Trade networks (Fairtrade International, World Fair Trade Organization, Network of European Worldshops and European Fair Trade Association):

'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. Fair Trade organizations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade. Fair Trade's strategic intent is:

Deliberately to work with marginalized producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency
To empower producers and workers as stakeholders in their own organizations
To actively to play a wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade.
What is the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark?

The FAIRTRADE Certification Mark is an independent consumer label which appears on products to signify that Fairtrade standards have been met. When you buy products with this Mark disadvantaged producers get a better deal. For Fairtrade certified goods, producers receive prices aimed at covering the cost of sustainable production. They also get an additional sum, called the Fairtrade Premium, for social, environmental and economic development.

Producer organizations supplying Fairtrade Products are then certified against these standards by FLO-CERT, a separate certification body, owned by Fairtrade International, which carries out regular audits and inspections.For a product to display the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark it must meet international Fairtrade Standards. These standards are established by Fairtrade International and are set in accordance to the requirements of the ISEAL Code of Good Practice in standards setting. The standards are the result of broad consultations of different stakeholders and external experts.

Who benefits from Fairtrade?

The Fairtrade system provides tangible benefits to small-scale farmers and workers, consumers and the environment.

1. Small-scale farmers and workers: Approximately 1.2 million workers and farmers in 58 developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America benefit from Fairtrade.

2. Consumers: The Fairtrade system benefits consumers by:

Having the opportunity to buy in line with their principles.
Being empowered them to play their part in addressing global trade inequities.
Getting in exchange high quality products.
3. Environment: Fairtrade rewards and encourages farming and production practices that are environmentally sustainable, such as:

Integrated farm management systems which minimize pollutants, pesticides and herbicides.
Organic agriculture techniques.
Banning the use of most dangerous pesticides.