What is Fair Trade?

Principles of Fair Trade:

  • Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
  • The purpose of Fair Trade is to create opportunities for producers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalized by the conventional trading system. It is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

  • Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships
  • Fair Trade involves relationships that are open, fair, consistent, and respectful. Members show consideration for both customers and producers by sharing information about the entire trading chain through honest  communication.

  • Providing Capacity Building
  • Fair Trade is a means to develop producers' independence. Long-term relationships are maintained based on solidarity, trust, and mutual respect, so that producers can improve their skills and their access to markets.

  • Respect Cultural Identity
  • Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities, while seeking to create positive and equitable change. It respects the development of products, practices, and organizational models based on indigenous traditions and techniques to sustain cultures and revitalize traditions. Market needs are balanced with producers’ cultural heritage.

  • Payment of a Fair Price
  • Fair Trade empowers producers to set prices within the framework of the true costs of labor, time, materials, sustainable growth, and related factors. International, national, local, and, where applicable, Fair Trade Minimum standards for their employees and producers are complied with or exceeded. Prompt payment is ensured to all partners and the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men is taken into account. Producers are offered interest-free advance payment for handmade goods.

  • Ensuring No Child Labor
  • Fair Trade means that all children have the right to security, education, and play. Throughout the trading chain, Members respect and support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms. Members disclose the involvement of children in production. Members do not support child trafficking and exploitative child labor.

  • Commitment to Non- Discrimination and Gender Equity
  • There is no discrimination in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/Aids status or age. Fair Trade means that women's work is properly valued and rewarded and women are always paid for their contribution to the production process.

  • Ensuring Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
  • Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor. Working hours and conditions comply with conditions established by national and local laws and International Labor Organization conventions. Fair Trade seeks to eliminate discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. Fair Trade supports workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.

  • Promoting Fair Trade
  • Fair Trade encourages an understanding by all participants of their role in world trade. They encourage customers and producers to ask questions about conventional and alternative supply chains and to make informed choices. Advocates of Fair Trade demonstrate that trade can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, the distribution of power, and the environment in the communities with which they work.

  • Respect for the Environment
  • Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Members actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources. Members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. They encourage environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire trading chain.