What is Fair Trade?

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What is Fairtrade?

Essentially fairtrade is a business partnership between the producer or supplier and the purchaser. But it is more, much more than just a simple business contract. People not profit, trust and respect are the basis for a fair-trade partnership.

This partnership has a set of rules to which each party must adhere in order to qualify for the status of Fair Trade and these are laid down by recognised fairtrade organisations such as the International Fair Trade Association or the British Association of Fair Trade Shops.

There are 10 rules which all recognised fairtrade organisations must follow:
  • To create opportunities for marginalised and disadvantaged producers who would not otherwise have access to international trade markets.
  • To be open, fair and respectful in management and commercial relations.
  • To encourage and nurture the producers skills enabling them to reach independance and access new markets.
  • To pay a fair price for goods which enables a just and environmental production. To pay promptly, and if possible, to provide that finance pre-production or harvest.
  • To provide a safe and healthy working environment.
  • To respect the United Nations Convention on Children's Rights whilst respecting local laws and practices.
  • To promote gender equality in the working environment and empower femal workers. To encourage responsibility towards the environement and encourage more responsible production practices.
  • To trade with specific responsibilities for the producers social, economic and environmental well-being, and not maximise profit at their expense.
  •  To promote long-term partnerships based on trust and respect.
  • To actively raise awareness of greater justice in world trade, to provide information to customers on fair trade, the products and the producers. To use open marketing and advertising practices.

For me, working within a fairtrade agreement means repecting who I work with, who I buy my stock from and who I sell to. Respect in every sense of the word, without prejudice of any kind.
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