Fair Trade 2.0
We believe that Fair Trade cannot be a label limited to Coffee and just arts and crafts produced in developing countries and sponsored by NGO’s and other social responsible groups. Fair Trade should be the way of doing business in the 21st. century.
We practice Fair Trade in every aspect of our venture ensuring that all the people involved not only improves their life quality but also becomes more aware that by taking care of the resources and sharing the profits every body in the supply chain benefits.
We believe that every product should be produced under Fair Trade conditions, and we challenge all the industry to meet our quality and standards while practicing Fair Trade among the entire supply chain.
What is Fair Trade?
The Fair Trade movement works to ensure that people are adequately compensated for the work that they do. It’s a growing, international movement dedicated to securing a fair deal for producers in economically impoverished countries. A ‘fair deal’ includes paying workers a fair price for the goods they produce – a price that covers the cost of production, and guarantees a living income. It also involves programs that can provide lasting stability – such as long-term contracts for profits that the producers can bank on, and business training that can help increase sales and speed organization-growth. (Oxfam: Make Trade Fair). Fair Trade is concerned with economic opportunity as well as economic justice, and seeks out producers that have been historically over-looked by bottom-line developers.
Fair Trade Movement History
The Fair Trade movement originated in Europe over 40 years ago. The Fair Trade mission is to create sustainable incomes for poor and disadvantaged producers by:
• providing a living wage,
• maintaining stable, long-term trade agreements, and
• improving working conditions through education, campaigning and creating access to outside markets.
Today, the majority of low-income producers are workers in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Unfortunately, free trade agreements such as NAFTA, APEC, and WTO have ignored opportunities to protect workers and the environment while creating industrial opportunities in these developing regions.
The Fair Trade movement believes that workers should be paid a living wage. It has enjoyed great success in Europe, where fair trade goods are available in over 2,700 world stores and 43,000 supermarkets. Additionally, there are four multi-national fair trade organizations that work together to advocate for the Fair Trade movement: IFAT, EFTA, NEWS! and FLO International. In 2001, the European Fair Trade Association surveyed 18 countries and found that they work with over 100 importing organizations. The four largest of these organizations have an annual turnover of over €10 million a year ($12.3 million), and the total net retail value is estimated to be over €92 million a year (European Fair Trade Association).
Fair Trade values are making their way to the US as American consumers become increasingly concerned about the origin of the products they buy, and aware of the environmental and social footprints of their purchases.
This “Fair Trade” movement is growing along the same grassroots lines as the Organics industry, which began as a fringe movement but is now global – and worth $23 billion (2002, Organic Monitor). In 2000, Fair Trade sales in North America totaled $100 million. This figure reached $180 million within two years, with the majority of revenues coming from agricultural products: coffee, tea chocolate and fruit. On its own, the Fair Trade handicrafts market generated $13.8 million in 2002. Fair Trade as a movement is gathering momentum, and we’re expecting exponential growth as education and awareness spread.