Products & Companies
Fair Trade is a global movement which puts social and environmental standards in place to protect producers and the environment. A variety of products and a variety of companies import, trade and now sell Fair Trade products across Canada. For details on each visit the product and company section of this website.
Fair Trade commonly works to build the cooperative system; as cooperatives provide similar producers the ability to speak in one voice and achieve the highest available market price in the free market. Cooperatives allow producers to work together to develop skills and training that are traditionally inaccessible in developing economies; providing producers with the necessary business skills and knowledge that are necessary to compete on the international market. Cooperatives provide the ability for every worker to voice their opinion, and to be heard as a single united voice.
Fair Trade certification ensures that a fair price is paid to the producer/worker, safe working conditions are created and maintained, the environment is protected which leads to developing stability, and long term sustainability.
Fair Trade standards include:
- Democratic organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide amongst themselves how to invest Fair Trade revenues in their communities.
- Fair labour conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labour is strictly prohibited.
- Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
- Long-term relationships: Companies engaging in fair trade seek to develop long-term relationships that producers can count on in the future.
- Pre-Harvest credit: Under conventional trade, farmers have to front all the money for a growing season themselves. This can mean either unreasonable interest rates, or not receiving credit at
- Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects, like scholarship programs, quality improvement training, and organic certification.
- Environmental sustainability: The nature of the Fair Trade certification system means that farmers and producers have to follow a strict set of standards. Over the last few years, environmental standards have been added to the Fair Trade criteria and now nearly all Fair Trade products in Vancouver are also certified organic