Fair Trade is a business model that puts social and environmental issues at the heart of the market system. It establishes standards to protect producers/workers and the environment throughout the supply chain around the world.
Fair Trade guarantees:
- Fair wages for producers, above the market prices
- Safe working conditions and no child-labour
- Contribution to the development of the community at large by educating and empowering workers and their families, providing fair revenue that can be reinvested to develop schools, health centers and others, encouraging the development of cooperatives
- Minimimum intermediaries between retailers and producers allowing for a more direct supply chain
- Respect for the environment and the health of workers with limit use of chemicals and pesticides
These guarantees allow for stability to develop within communities and between producers and retailers.
On the other hand, the regular most common Free-Trade market system works to drive down prices and wages so it profits to a minority of big companies. It generally leads to exploitation of marginalized communities throughout the world.
Much of these inequalities are too often hidden from consumers.
How to Choose Fair Trade Products?
You will recognize Fairtrade Certified products with the “Fairtrade” mark that has become more and more common on food (sugar, fruits, chocolate…), beverages (coffee, wine, tea, …), jewelry, handicrafts, and clothing.