Fair Trade is a tool for reducing poverty in developing nations. It's a form of trade that builds equitable and long-term partnerships between producers in developing regions of the world and consumers in the north. Fair Trade guarantees many things including the following.
Producers receive a minimum set price for their goods, financial and technical support, healthy and safe working conditions, economic development of their communities, and educational opportunities for their children.
Consumers receive excellent products plus the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are actively addressing poverty, preserving the environment, and promoting an end to child labor.
The planet receives a chance at health and healing since Fair Trade actively promotes sustainable farming techniques, biodiversity, and bird and animal habitat preservation.
Fair Trade Certified products receive third party certification by IMO, FairTradeUSA or others. In the US, it is mostly foods that are Certified, and they include: coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa , spices, honey, sugar, vanilla, molasses, rice and quinoa, olive oil, avocados, bananas and other tropical fruits. There are also certified flowers and clothing. Products that use Certified items also carry the FairTradeUSA label such as some beverages, body lotions and ice creams. Look for these labels to know that your products have been Fair Trade Certified:
Many products such as crafts, jewelry, and clothing are not yet Fair Trade Certified. The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) establishes fair trade criteria that member businesses commit to following. Look for businesses, such as Ten Thousand Villages, that are members. Most post the FTF logo in their windows or on their websites:
Other products on the market that are not Fair Trade Certified or sold through Fair Trade Federation members may also be "fairly traded" thanks to retailers, who purchase directly from artisans, pay fairly, and ensure that fair trade standards are met. When you know your retailers well, you can trust this process.