While global trade has improved the conditions for some marginalized people, many critics suggest that conventional commerce gives too much power to multinational corporations and rich countries, and too little power to less industrialized countries and producers working there. Conventional trade often minimizes opportunities for vulnerable producers and sometimes degrades the environment.
When we buy something cheaply we have to ask ourselves who paid the true price of that product — because someone somewhere paid.
Fair Trade is essentially the exchange of goods based on principals of economic and social justice. It goes without saying that Aid and Development work are totally crucial and much needed approaches - but what gets us most excited about Fair Trade is that it is a sustainable and systemic approach that gives people independence and dignity. It’s not charity, nor pity, but it’s a sustainable way to break cycles of poverty and dependency. When you buy Fair Trade products, like Fair Trade coffee, Fair Trade chocolate, or Fair Trade gifts, it comes with the knowledge that your purchase makes the world a little bit better place to live for people in some of the darkest corners of the world.
In a nutshell, we buy things we need, and in the process provide a way out of extreme poverty for our creative, hardworking partners all over the world.
Fair Trade certification is a vital part of the process, ensuring that our producers all over the world are paid fairly, that there is no child labor, that women are treated well, and that the environment is respected. For a more complete definition of Fair Trade, click see our FAQs, or visit the Fair Trade Federation website.