“The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”
Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system. Fair trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. At the core of the fair trade model is a direct, cooperative, and in-depth relationship between buyers and sellers that keeps the principles of fair trade at the forefront.
Fair trade organizations are held to a high standard in order to promote the ideals that fair trade is founded on. The World Fair Trade Organization, one of the leading organizations in the fair trade movement, has laid out ten principles that fair trade organizations must carry out.
CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED PRODUCERS
Fair trade supports marginalized small producers that are negatively impacted by the current trading system. Fair trade organizations work with producers towards sustainable development in their communities.
TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Fair Trade organizers work for relationships that are open, fair, consistent & respectful.
FAIR TRADING PRACTICES
Fair trade organizations commit to long term relationships of respect in which the producers needs are met. This relationship revolves around the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small producers.
PAYMENT OF A FAIR PRICE
Fair Trade organizations and producers have agreed upon a payment that benefits both parties. Producers are included at the negotiating table and a minimum payment is set to guarantee the sustainability of cooperatives.
ENSURING NO CHILD LABOR AND FORCED LABOR
Adhering to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, fair trade organizations ensure that no child or forced labor is used in the production of fair trade products.
COMMITMENT TO NON DISCRIMINATION, GENDER EQUITY AND WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT, AND FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
Fair trade organizations do not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/Aids status or age.
ENSURING GOOD WORKING CONDITIONS
Fair Trade guarantees healthy working conditions that ensure the safety of workers.
PROVIDING CAPACITY BUILDING
Fair Trade opens up opportunities for producers to continue to develop skills to expand business and gain more skills.
PROMOTING FAIR TRADE
Fair trade organizations and companies that support fair trade commit to promoting fair trade and expanding its reach.
RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Fair trade works to promote and expand on sustainable practices in the growth and productions of fair trade products.
As Jesuit communities we are called uphold justice and be voices for the poor. We must challenge an economy that values corporations and profit over people:
Fair trade certifications guarantee to the consumer that the product they are buying meets fair trade standards. Each fair trade label has similar standards for the products they certify. Look for the labels below and know you are purchasing fair products.
If you are looking for fair trade certified products look for these labels:
If you are looking businesses committed to fair trade principles look for this label: