What is Fair Trade?

  • Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
  • Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers who are economically disadvantaged or marginalized, while paying them a fair price for their efforts.
  • Some global efforts for fairer trade started after World War II and during the 1960s by church and non-governmental organizations. The movement broadened and gained strength in the late 1980s and 1990s. Both agricultural and manufactured items are part of the fair trade movement.

fair trade potter, Nepal, Global Village Store

Principles of Fair Trade

1  Capacity Building

Fair Trade is a means to develop producers’ independence. Fair Trade relationships provide continuity so that producers and their marketing organizations can improve their management skills and their access to new markets.

2  Gender Equity

Women’s work is properly valued and rewarded. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process, and are empowered in their organizations.

3  Working Conditions

Fair Trade emphasizes a safe and healthy working environment for producers. The participation of children (if any) does not adversely affect their well-being, and conforms to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the law and norms in the local context.

4  Payment of a Fair Price

A fair price is one that has been agreed through dialogue and participation, in the local context. It enables production which is socially and environmentally sound. It ensures prompt payment, and whenever possible, help for producers with pre-production financing.

5  Transparency and accountability

Fair Trade involves transparent management and commercial relations, to deal fairly and respectfully with trading partners.

6  The Environment

Fair Trade actively encourages better environmental practices, and the application of responsible methods of production.