What is fair trade?

What is Fair Trade?

Fair trade, defined simply, is when producers in developing countries are paid a fair price for their work, by companies in developed countries.

It's when the price we pay for products gives enough to producers for them to afford life's essentials - like food, education and healthcare.

Fair trade was created as an alternative way of doing trade. It is based on partnership, which means that the interests of farmers and workers are just as important as other commercial considerations. It also represents a solution to poverty and a model for development.

If you want to see fair trade in action, take a look at www.traidcraftshop.co.uk

Key Principles of Fair Trade

  • Trading practices are fair and not one-sided.
  • Prices paid are fair and sufficient for producers and workers to earn more than enough to meet their day-to-day needs.
  • Payments are often made in advance to ensure the supplier can fulfill orders.
  • Producers and workers have a voice, whether organised into groups or involved in workplaces where there is freedom of association.
  • Safe working conditions, non-discrimination and welfare of children.

The Wider World of Fair Trade

Fair Trade has grown enormously since the 1980s. There are lots of organisations throughout the world who share the same mission and philosophy as Traidcraft. We call ourselves Fair Trade Organisations (FTOs) and often work together.

Traidcraft is a member of two larger membership organisations.

  1. The European Fair Trade Association (EFTA), which is a group of like-minded FTOs in Europe, collaborating in product development, purchasing and a whole range of other things.
  2. The World Fair Organisation (WFTO), which is a larger global membership body of FTOs and importantly includes membership in the global South – in other words producers from Africa, Central and Latin America and Asia who are seeking to benefit from Fair Trade.

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"Fair trade helps us all earn money so the whole community can benefit"

Fana Mamba | Mavalele One Farmer's Association, Swaziland

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The Fairtrade Foundation licenses the FAIRTRADE Mark to thousands of products in the UK. The supply chain of each of these products must comply with the Fairtrade Standards. The Mark is recognised by over 80% of the UK population. Traidcraft is proud of the fact that we were one of the founders of the Fairtrade Foundation back in the 1990’s.

Read about the history of Traidcraft here!