What is “Fair Trade”?
“Fair Trade” is a different way for consumers in North American markets to interact with producers of goods in underdeveloped countries. Fair trade organizations offer a fair price to artisans, craftsmen, and farmers and work to improve their living and working conditions.Expenses are kept low, and there is no exorbitant markup by the “middleman.” People who purchase items through fair trade partnerships can be assured that they are directly supporting poor and struggling artists and farmers.
Ever worry that the clothes you buy are made in sweatshops? Or that your shoes were made by children earning mere pennies? Or that the makers of the coffee you drink have been exploiting the farmers who grow it, not to mention exploiting the earth itself? Well, with fair trade products, you don’t have to worry about any of those concerns.
The fair trade name is given to products which have been produced according to fair trade standards. It’s about working people earning a living wage; it’s about healthier and safer working conditions; it’s about providing people the means to help themselves;it’s about environmentally friendly cultivation; it’s about sustainable development; it’s about equal opportunity; it’s about social justice; it’s about fairness!
Fair trade is not a handout – it is not charity. It is better than aid: it is a way for people in underdeveloped areas to take more control of their lives and work their way out of poverty.