Fair Trade Stand
What is FairTrade?
Many artisans and farmers in third world countries rely on exporting their products in order to survive. However, changing commodity prices for commodities (eg coffee beans) can have a dramatic effect on the income of these small producers, adversely affecting their already modest incomes and throwing them into debt where they can lose their land, homes and livelihoods.
The Coffee Project
Fair trade has been developed by charities to offer farmers and artisans a fair price for their products. Consumers buying fair trade products know that the producer has been a paid a fair amount for his product. Companies that display the Fairtrade mark (see right) meet the standards laid down by the international organisation "Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International".
How does FairTrade help farmers and farm workers?
This depends on the commodity that is being grown. For example, most coffee is grown by farmers who own their own land and sell their coffee through a cooperative. In this case it is important that the farmers receive a fair price for their coffee beans.
However the case is different for tea, as tea plantation workers are employed by the tea estate owners - in this instance the most important thing is to get fair wages and proper working conditions for these employees.
|Refine Trade |
- Fair trade clothing including T-shirts and hoodies for men and women. Every item sold helps to improve the quality of life for people in the third world.
How are these aims achieved?
These aims are achieved by having two sets of producer standards, one for small farmers and one for plantation and factory workers. The first set of standards applies to small farmers organised into cooperatives, and the second set applies to workers. Standards applied to the workers include the right to a decent wage, the right to join a union, minimum health and safety standards and no child labour.
What products are currently covered by the Fairtrade mark?
Products currently covered include: bananas, coffee, cocoa, cotton, fruit and vegetables, fruit juice, nuts and seeds, rice, spices, sugar, tea and wine (this list is not exhaustive).