Fair Trade 101

What Is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is a lot of things: a social justice movement, an alternative business model, a system of global commerce, a tool for international development, a faith-based activity.  Fair trade’s many definitions center
around the
exchange of
goods based
on principles of economic and social justice.

10 Principles of Fair Trade
1. Create Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers - Fair trade is trade that reduces poverty by supporting marginalized small producers.  Fair trade seeks to enable these producers to be economically self-sufficient.
2. Transparency and Accountability - Fair trade assures relevant information is provided to all trading partners through open communication at all levels of the supply chain. Fair trade finds appropriate, participatory ways to involve trading partners in decision-making.
3.  Fair Trading Practices - Fair trade is concerned for the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of producers and does not maximize profit at their expense.  Fair trade builds long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect.
4.  Payment of a Fair Price - Fair pay means provision of socially and locally acceptable remuneration.  A fair price is mutually agreed upon and provides fair pay to the producers and is sustainable by the market. Any fair trade pricing structures are used as a minimum.
5.  Ensuring no Child Labor or Forced Labor - Fair trade ensures that no forced labor is used in production and that United Nations’ guidelines and national and local laws are followed when children are employed.  Any involvement of children (including learning a traditional art) does not adversely affect the children's wellbeing, security, educational requirements or need for play.
6.  Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association - Fair trade does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, accessto training, promotion, termination or retirement. Fair trade respects the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively.
7.  Ensuring Good Working Conditions - Fair trade provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees and members. It complies, at a minimum, with national and local laws and ILO conventions.
8.  Providing Capacity Building - Fair trade seeks to increase positive developmental impacts for small, marginalized producers.  Those working directly with small producers develop specific activities to help these producers improve their management skills, production capabilities and access to markets.
9.  Promoting Fair Trade - Those connected with fair trade raise awareness of the aims of fair trade and of the need for greater justice in world trade.
10. Respect for the Environment - Those who create fair trade products maximize the use of raw materials and energy-saving technologies. Buyers and importers of fair trade products give priority to buying products made from raw materials that originate from sustainably managed sources and have the least overall impact on the environment.

How does Fair Trade Impact Me?
Fair Trade connects you with other cultures.  Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Farmers and artisans are involved in the entire process, and Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from.  When you purchase a fair trade product you get an added bonus with the item - you get the pride that comes from knowing you made a real difference in a real person's life.

There’s an App for That
Learn how your favorite brands relate to fair trade by downloading the “Free2Work” app in your app store.  When you’re shopping, you can use the app to see a brand’s forced and child labor grade.

Adapted from Fair Trade Resource Network, (FTRN.org) and the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO.org).

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