What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is a powerful tool that aims to empower marginalized producers to improve their own living conditions. With the proper resources, capacity, and access to key relationships, disadvantaged producers can earn their own means to a better life for themselves and their communities.
Protections versus rights
Many international development programs propose to establish protections for workers around the world, yet workers wouldn’t need these protections if they had proper rights to begin with. Fair trade endeavours to empower producers by ensuring they have access to the rights they deserve. This involves letting them have their say in the issues that affect them.
Process and verification
Fair trade products can be just like any other. Because production and trade standards cannot be verified by looking at a final product, certification and labelling systems are used to verify fair practices.
Goals for fair trade
- Producers are paid a fair price that covers costs of production and adequate living standards for hired labour.
- Producer groups ensure high standards for labour, environmental sustainability, and respect for cultural identity.
- Producers are paid a price premium that supports business development and community initiatives such as improving access to health and education.
- Producers, consumers, and businesses build stronger connections, reducing inefficiencies and encouraging more direct relationships.
- Producers have access to credit, markets, resources, and industry knowledge.