Fair Trade (Fairtrade)
A system of trade in which workers receive living wages and employment opportunities for the goods they produce. This system serves as an alternative approach to conventional international trade for producers who are typically economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers from developing countries. The producers partner with international organizations that help them build their skills to market and sell goods such as crafts, and agricultural products such as coffee and chocolate.
For commodities, farmers receive a stable, minimum price. In addition, there are several other criteria to satisfy:
• Forced labor and exploitative child labor are not allowed
• Buyers and producers trade under direct long-term relationships
• Producers have access to financial and technical assistance
• Sustainable production techniques are encouraged
• Working conditions are healthy and safe
• Equal employment opportunities are provided for all
• All aspects of trade and production are open to public accountability
Goods can be certified as Fair Trade by organizations like the Fair Trade Labelling Organization (FLO) which has affiliates in seventeen countries.
International Federation for Alternative Trade (IFAT)
A fair trade networking agency whose 9 standards apply to all Fair Trade Organizations whether they are importers or retailers, exporters, producer societies or support organizations: www.ifat.org
The only third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States: www.transfairusa.org