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What is fair trade?

Fair trade seeks to transform the lives of poor producers in the developing world by enabling them to use their skills and resources to trade their way out of poverty.

Patricia and grandmother

It seeks to challenge injustices in trading structures and practices that so often lead to the exploitation and marginalisation of poor people.

Key elements of fair trade

Fair trade sets out to:

  • create opportunities for poor producers
  • ensure trading practices are fair, both in terms of payment and prices
  • ensure that children are not being exploited
  • ensure there is no discrimination
  • ensure working conditions are safe.

What we do

As an organisation committed to fair trade, Traidcraft:

  • focuses on trading with poor and marginalised producer groups, helping them develop skills and sustainable livelihoods through the trading relationship.
  • pays fair prices that cover the full cost of production and enable a living wage and other fair rewards to be earned by producers.
  • provides credit when needed to allow orders to be fulfilled.
  • encourages the fair treatment of all workers, ensuring good conditions in the workplace and throughout the supply chain.
  • aims to build up long-term relationships, rather than looking for short-term commercial advantage.

The Fairtrade Mark

Some key fair trade food products can be identified by the Fairtrade logo on their packaging. The logo is certified by the Fairtrade Foundation. Traidcraft is a founder member of the Foundation.

The UK fair trade market

Sales of fair trade products have been gaining momentum in the UK in recent years, and they are now more widely available than ever before. Figures released by the Fairtrade Foundation show that sales of Fairtrade products soared by 40% in 2010 to an estimated retail value of £1.17bn.

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