What Does Fair Trade Mean?

Why Should We Care?

You are probably familiar with the term “Fair Trade,” but do you know what constitutes a fair trade product? The term doesn’t just apply to chocolate and coffee either. There are dozens of types of fair trade products, but they all follow the same code of ethics to qualify.

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 Federation

The World Fair Trade Organization details 10 Principles of Fair Trade by which an organization should adhere. Basically they boil down to being ethical, open, honest and encouraging of development and fair business practices in economically disadvantaged areas. These practices also help protect against things like child labour, gender inequality, forced labour, unhealthy or unsafe working conditions. Organizations strive to lessen their impact on the environment too. Fair Trade Certified products are also free from GMOs.

Furthermore, fair trade licensing fees generate funds, which are given to fair trade communities. The money is designated for social, economic and environmental projects including scholarships, schools, quality improvement and leadership training and organic certification.

Here’s a video from Fair Trade USA that further demonstrates these core values:

 

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