Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power. More and more people are starting to question where their products come from. Were the workers treated fairly? Were they paid proper wages? How does this purchase effect those involved in the production? Will my purchase make a difference?

Visit to Mathurapur, India

Organizations like The Fair Trade FederationTrans Fair USA, The Fair Trade Resource Network, and The World Fair Trade Organization work to oversee companies, certify products, promote and educate consumers about Fair Trade. The main aims of Fair Trade are to:

  1. Alleviate poverty.
  2. Practice anti-slavery and anti-child labor principles.
  3. Promote sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices.
  4. Promote a healthy, safe working environment and wages for producers.
  5. Promote gender equality.
  6. Preserve native arts through independent artisans, small family businesses, community cooperatives and large-scale fair trade exporters.
  7. Educate and empower disadvantaged producers by fostering long-term trading relationships that are traceable and transparent.
  8. Foster community development leading to self-sustainability.

The largest Fair Trade organizations (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations InternationalWorld Fair Trade OrganizationNetwork of European WorldshopsEuropean Fair Trade Association) define Fair Trade as:

 …a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair trade organizations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.

The more people start acknowledging where their goods come from, and then doing what they can to support sustainable and fair trade, the more commonplace it will become. You have a powerful voice as a consumer, so speak up with your purchases!

Visit to Kulpi

Author Bio:

Kelsy Hoffman studied International Relations and French at the University of Arkansas, USA, and recently graduated with hopes of owning her own fair trade shop. She traveled to a small village in eastern India for a 4 month internship in microfinance and community development after her undergraduate studies. Learning and exchanging ideas with people from all around the world has always been her passion because she believes that collaboration and listening are the keys to understanding one another, no matter where they come from.

One response »

  1. Thanks for writing this post, Kelsy, and sharing your knowledge about the importance of fair trade! Welcome to the Earth Charter family!

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