What Fair Trade actually means
Fair Trade doesn’t just mean paying a fair price. It is an entirely different way of doing business, where the objective is not profit at any cost, but to help people in the world’s most marginalised communities escape poverty and promote sustainability.
Fair Trade Standards
There are 11 standards that Fair Trade organisations need to stick to. And WFTO monitors all its members to ensure these standards are upheld. (If you want to check they’re real, you can see them on WFTO‘s website!)
At Artisan Hut, we abide by these, and work to ensure all our producers do too, as we continue to set the standards in Fair Trade fashion.
- Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers – Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalised by the conventional trading system.
- Transparency and Accountability – Fair Trade involves transparent management and commercial relations to deal fairly and respectfully with trading partners.
- Capacity Building – Fair Trade is a means to develop producers’ independence. Fair Trade relationships provide continuity, during which producers and their marketing organisations can improve their management skills and access to new markets.
- Promoting Fair Trade – Fair Trade Organisations raise awareness of Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in world trade. They provide their customers with information about the Organisation, the products, and in what conditions they are made. They use honest advertising and marketing techniques and aim for the highest standards in product quality and packing.
- Payment of a Fair Price – A fair price in the regional or local context is one that has been agreed through dialogue and participation. It covers not only the costs of production but enables production which is socially just and environmentally sound. It provides fair pay to the producers and takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fair Traders ensure prompt payment to their partners and, whenever possible, help producers with access to pre-harvest or pre-production financing.
- Gender Equity – Fair Trade means that women’s work is properly valued and rewarded. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process and are empowered in their organisations.
- Working Conditions – Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment for producers.
- Child Labour – Fair Trade Organisations respect the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms in order to ensure that the participation of children in production processes of fairly traded articles (if any) does not adversely affect their well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play. Organisations working directly with informally organised producers disclose the involvement of children in production.
- The Environment – Fair Trade actively encourages better environmental practices and the application of responsible methods of production.
- Trade Relations – Fair Trade Organisations trade with concern for the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of small producers and do not maximise profit at their expense. They maintain long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. Whenever possible, help producers with access to pre-harvest or pre-production finance.
- Cultural Identity – Fair Trade recognizes, promotes and protects the cultural identity and traditional skills of small producers as reflected in their craft designs, food products and other related services.
For more information please visit WFTO.