Global business models frequently focus on profit over the well-being of people and the environment. Fair Trade is an alternative business model that prioritizes healthy and empowering relationships with small producers across the globe. Fair Trade is based on dialogue, transparency, and respect, and seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system.
Fair Trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized and often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods. By bringing their products into the global marketplace, Fair Trade businesses greatly expand opportunity for these small-scale artists and farmers while also educating consumers about the serious impact that their purchases can have on people's lives all over the world.
The Pulsera Project is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and strictly adheres to all of its principles, which are laid out below along with some additional materials about the Fair Trade movement. For more information about the Fair Trade Federation, please take some time to read through their website at http://www.fairtradeprinciples.org/ and https://www.fairtradefederation.org/
And remember, everything you buy has an impact on human beings across the globe -- please consider choosing businesses that put people & the environment first.
Create Opportunities for Marginalized Producers
Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Members create social and economic opportunities through trading partnerships with marginalized producers. Members place the interests of producers and their communities as the primary concern of their enterprise.
Develop Transparent Relationships
Fair Trade involves relationships that are open, fair, consistent, and respectful. Members show consideration for both customers and producers by sharing information about the entire trading chain through honest and proactive communication. They create mechanisms to help customers and producers feel actively involved in the trading chain. If problems arise, members work cooperatively with fair trade partners and other organizations to implement solutions.
Fair Trade is a means to develop producers’ independence. Members maintain long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust, and mutual respect, so that producers can improve their skills and their access to markets. Members help producers to build capacity through proactive communication, financial and technical assistance, market information, and dialogue. They seek to share lessons learned, to spread best practices, and to strengthen the connections between communities, including among producer groups.
Promote Fair Trade
Fair Trade encourages an understanding by all participants of their role in world trade. Members actively raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system. They encourage customers and producers to ask questions about conventional and alternative supply chains and to make informed choices. Members demonstrate that trade can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, the distribution of power, and the environment in the communities with which they work.
Pay Promptly & Fairly
Discuss prices openly and honestly so that producers understand their costs and earn a fair wage. FTF members also offer advance payment to producers to help cover the costs of production.
Support Safe & Empowering Work Conditions
Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor. Throughout the trading chain, Members cultivate workplaces that empower people to participate in the decisions that affect them. Members seek to eliminate discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. Members support workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.
Ensure Children's Rights
FTF members never use exploitative child labor. Members support childrens' right to security, education, and play, and respect the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Cultivate Environmental Stewardship
Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Members actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources. Members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. They encourage environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire trading chain.
Respect Cultural Identity
Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities, while seeking to create positive and equitable change. Members respect the development of products, practices, and organizational models based on indigenous traditions and techniques to sustain cultures and revitalize traditions. Members balance market needs with producers’ cultural heritage.
The History of Fair Trade
This comic-book written and illustrated by Equal Exchange covers the history of Fair Trade in a super easy to understand format. Take a look at this for an understanding of how the movement came about, the people who it affects, and how you can be a part of the movement.
Fair Trade Myths & FAQs
Learn about some of the myths and misunderstandings about the Fair Trade movement in this FTF article. This would be a great resource for classroom discussion about Fair Trade and it's role in the modern globalized world.
WFTO's Fair Trade Resource List
The World Fair Trade Organization has put together an enormous list of resources for learning more about the Fair Trade movement. Instead of copying them all here, we encourage you to look through their list and read about anything that piques your interest.
The Dark Side of Chocolate
This heartbreaking and eye-opening documentary brings you into the unseen world of the corporate chocolate industry, exposing the conditions that many people work under to produce chocolate for consumers in the Western World. You'll never look at a Hershey's bar the same again.
In 2012, dozens of fair trade organizations, traders, and producers called on the "Fair Trade USA" organization to establish a more inclusive and transparent structure and to stop plans to expand fair trade certification to large coffee plantations. Since then, over 250 organizations and individuals have signed the open letter to them. This letter highlights some key issues in the Fair Trade movement, and shows how pressure from big business led one Fair Trade certifying organization to lower their membership standards.