The term fair trade describes a partnership between producers and traders. They make decisions together about product design and come to agreements on prices and delivery dates. In order to redress an economic imbalance, which is unfairly weighted against the producer, the buyer will often pay 50% of the final price on placing the order. The price paid sometimes includes a premium to be used to benefit the whole community in consultation with workers or producers.
If a producer cannot meet the agreed delivery date (which often happens in countries where the natural conditions and political unrest affect output), the fair trader remains loyal to the producer. This commitment is vital to artisans for whom mass production is impossible.
The Fairtrade Mark is an independent guarantee that a product has been fairly traded. It is most often seen on foods but has also been awarded to footballs, flowers and cotton.
World Fair Trade Organisation 10 Principles of Fair Trade
1. Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
2. Transparency and Accountability
3. Fair Trading Practices
4. Payment of a Fair Price
5. Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour
6. Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association
7. Ensuring Good Working Conditions
8. Providing Capacity Building
9. Promoting Fair Trade
10. Respect for the Environment
You can find loads more information on the Fairtrade Foundation’s website which is a great source of support and resources for those who want to find out more about fair trade. We’d strongly encourage you to take a look!