What is Fairtrade and what are the key elements?

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What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade. It is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. Fairtrade offers farmers and workers improved terms of trade, which allows them to improve their lives on their terms. For consumers, Fairtrade is a powerful way to reduce poverty through every day shopping.

The Fairtrade system is one of the largest and most diverse global movements with thousands of relationships in more than 90 countries. Fairtrade takes a holistic approach to sustainability focusing on improving economic, social and environmental conditions for the long-term.

How Fairtrade works

Fair for Producers 

Fairtrade works to improve opportunities for small-scale farmers and workers, among the most marginalized by the global trade system. For farmers and workers, Fairtrade means:

  • A Fairtrade Premium paid above the selling price that farmers and workers use for local social, economic or environmental projects according to their needs,
  • Fairer prices that aims to cover costs of sustainable production and protect producers from market downturns,
  • Access to advance credit to finance the production and harvest,
  • Decent working conditions according to International Labour Organization conventions for hired labour,
  • And stable long term trade relationships

Farmers and workers are also consulted during the process for establishing new standards and policies for Fairtrade. The Fairtrade producer networks play a prominent role on the Board of Directors at Fairtrade International and have 50 percent representation on the Fairtrade General Assembly.

Fair for Consumers

Consumers are a vital part of the Fairtrade system. With every purchase, consumers contribute to more balanced trade relationships and promote greater autonomy for producers.

When a product carries the FAIRTRADE Mark it means the producers and traders have met the stringent Fairtrade Standards, which address the imbalance of power in trading relationships, and the injustices of conventional trade.

According to a 2008 GlobeScan study of 14 500 consumers in 15 countries, 50 percent of consumers are familiar with the FAIRTRADE Mark and 91 percent trust the FAIRTRADE Mark.

The Fairtrade System

The Fairtrade system is made up of three producer networks that represent producers in Africa, Asia and Latin America & the Caribbean and 19 national Fairtrade organizations and five marketing organizations that market and promote Fairtrade products in consumer countries.

Fairtrade International , the umbrella organization, creates the internationally-agreed Fairtrade Standards and supports Fairtrade producers. FLO-CERT is an independent certification company owned by Fairtrade International that inspects producers and traders to ensure they comply with Fairtrade Standards.


    Why buy Fairtrade?

    By buying Fairtrade products you can be sure that the people producing your goods are getting a better price, have decent working conditions and fair terms of trade.

    How to buy Fairtrade?

    Just look for the Fairtrade logo on anything you buy and then you know it has been produced in a more fair and ethical way for the people involved!

    Does Fairtrade really make any difference?

    Yes it does! The Fairtrade system currently works with 1.3 million people - farmers and workers - across more than 70 developing countries and over 75% of all Fairtrade producers are smallholder farms.

    Buy Fairtrade with Ecolifeglobal.com

    Source: Fairtrade

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