“Fairtrade” is all about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for marginalised farmers, producers, artisans and workers in the developing world.
By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), “Fairtrade” addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest people.
This sort of trade enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
“Fairtrade” is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers and workers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalised by the conventional trading system.
“Fairtrade” is a trademarked labelling initiative, owned and implemented by Fairtrade International.
The Fairtrade Mark or logo certifies that a product meets agreed Fair Trade criteria for a product.
Note that the label does not apply to an organisation, it only applies to the particular product on which it is displayed.
Based in London, the Fairtrade Foundation is a development organisation committed to tackling poverty and injustice through trade and is the UK member of Fairtrade International.
The Foundation works with businesses, civil society organisations and individuals to improve the position of producer organisations in the Southern Hemisphere and to help them achieve sustainable improvements for their members and their communities.
Here in the UK, the Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992, with the first products to carry the Fairtrade Mark launched in 1994.
So what is the Fairtrade Mark?
The Fairtrade Mark is an independent consumer label which appears on UK products as a guarantee that they have been certified against internationally agreed Fairtrade standards.
It shares internationally recognised Fairtrade standards with initiatives in 20 other countries, working together globally with producer networks such as Fairtrade International.
The Mark indicates that the product has been certified to give a better deal to the producers involved – it does not act as an endorsement of an entire company’s business practices.
Look out for the Fairtrade symbol, clearly marked on each pack. When products have this symbol on, you will know that, due to the certification by Fairtrade Foundation, a fair price has been paid to the workers involved.
With over 4,500 different Fairtrade products are available to buy in UK supermarkets and stores you can’t miss them!
Choosing and asking for Fairtrade is one way to ensure farmers and workers can farm into the future and earn enough to provide for their families and invest in their communities.
So hopefully after reading that, you will understand who and what the Fairtrade Foundation is.
My other Blog post on the subject is called “What is the difference between Fair Trade and Fairtrade”.
“If you still have queries, or want to share your thoughts, please do so in the Comments section below” – Paul