In the beginning
Sadly, conventional trade doesn’t always work for the people who grow the coffee, tea, sugar, cotton or tropical fruit we enjoy. Trade can play an important part in enabling communities in developing countries to work their way out of poverty- but only when it’s done right! While many organizations have been campaigning for trade not aid, and pioneering businesses have been trading fairly for many years, the concept started to creep in to the mainstream in 1994 when the first three products with the blue, green and black FAIRTRADE Mark appeared on shelves in the UK.A better deal
Fairtrade is a different way of doing trade – one that seeks to combat the injustices that can be present in conventional trade and put people first. Fairtrade works with agreed, international standards designed and audited to ensure that producers in developing countries get a better deal. With a fair price that covers the costs of production and an additional social premium for producer groups to invest in projects they decide will bring the greatest local benefits, such as education, health care and fresh water.
Fairtrade enables people to work their way out of poverty and build a more sustainable future for themselves and their families. Fairtrade ensures no child labour and no enforced labour conditions and gives everyone involved a voice in decision making. Fairtrade is a very practical response to injustice and poverty that each and every one of us can be a part of. The future looks fairer
This movement has come a long way thanks to every single person who asked for Fairtrade, told a friend about the difference it makes and popped a product or two in their shopping baskets. There are now over 4,500 products licensed to carry the Mark – from cotton bed sheets to body scrubs, olive oil to oranges, spices to Sauvignon Blanc and more than seven out of ten people in the UK recognise the FAIRTRADE Mark. This means that over 7 million people – farmers, workers and their families – can now benefit from a better trade deal,and millions more benefit from the investment in communities that the social premium funds - from schools and health care to better roads and food supplies.
But we still have a long way to go. Over two billion people worldwide struggle to survive on less than two dollars a day and many of these now face the effects of climate change too. Each and every one of us can make a difference to farmers in developing countries by choosing Fairtrade products when we shop and every time we do, we make a real difference and send a powerful signal about how we want trade to work.
Find out more www.fairtrade.org.uk