Despite an ever increasing level of international trade, poor farmers around the world are not benefitting from trade because of unfavourable trading terms and lack of negotiation power.  They are getting poorer and unable to make ends meet. As a result, they either have to use agrochemicals to boost yield, exploiting the natural resources nearby or rush to cities for low wage jobs. Food quality is affected and the environment is at risk.  This is not sustainable.

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade contributes to sustainable economic, social and environmental development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized farmers, producers and workers.  With stable and long term incomes, farmers are able to take care of the farm and the environment nearby.

How does Fair Trade work?

Based on the principles of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), a leading Fairtrade standard setting and certification organization, the following key principles hold:

 Fair price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.

 Environmental friendly production: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.

 Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.

Fair labour conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labour is strictly prohibited.

 Democratic and transparent organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.  Leaders of the organizations are elected by members by democratic means.

 Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, infrastructure and organic certification.

Advertisements