What is Fair Trade?
Let's start with a definition: (from the fair trade association of Australia):
'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 in developing countries. Fair Trade organisations (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.'
So in a nutshell
To us, fair trade means shopping for products in a more ethical way. It ensures a living wage is paid to the artisans and farmers for the work they do. Buying fair trade products has an ongoing positive impact to producers and communities in developing countries and is a real way of reducing global poverty.
But first, lets clarify
What is the difference between the terms 'Fairtrade' and 'Fair Trade'.
1.The word ‘Fairtrade’- is the registered trademark name for all Fairtrade products that have been certified and accredited to carry the Fairtrade logo - like the logo you see on all Fairtrade coffee, tea and chocolate products in the supermarket.
The Fairtrade mark means the producers and traders have met Fairtrade Standards. The Standards are designed to address the imbalance of power in trading relationships, unstable markets and the injustices of conventional trade.
2. The term ‘Fair Trade‘ is used for Fair Trade endorsed businesses, like Global Conduct – the little shop of fair trade, that have gone through a peer review system, that’s endorsed their validity in supporting, encouraging and promoting fair trade as an alternative, valid system of trade in comparison to the current open market. In Australia it is the Fair Traders of Australia (FToA) and Internationally, it is the World Fair trade Organisation (WFTO).
The term ‘fair trade’ also relates to handcrafted (hand made) products.
What does The World Fair Trade Organisation have to do with my product?
The majority of our suppliers are members of The WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization). The WFTO is a global network of organisations representing the Fair Trade supply chain. Membership in WFTO provides Fair Trade organisations with credibility and identity by way of an international guarantee system, a place of learning where members connect with like-minded people from around the world, tools and training to increase market access, and a common voice that speaks out for Fair Trade and trade justice - and is heard.
WFTO is the home of fair traders: producers, marketers, exporters, importers, wholesalers and retailers that demonstrate 100% commitment to Fair Trade and apply the WFTO’s Ten Principles of Fair Trade to their supply chain.
The work and achievements of its members make WFTO a global authority on Fair Trade and a guardian of Fair Trade values and principles.