is much more than just business. In short, Fair trade means that producers in the 3rd world get a fair price. That sounds simple and obvious, but for the small manufacturers in Africa, Latin America and Asia, low world market prices are a daily nightmare driving them into poverty and an existence where life is a struggle for survival. Fair Trade organizations want to change this and give these manufacturers a dignified existence.
On September 25, 2018, a new Charter for Fair Trade was published, which has been adopted by the big Fair trade organizations WFTO, FLO, EFTA and NEWS. In this, the vison for Fair Trade is defined in the following way:
The Fair Trade movement shares the vision of a world where trade structures and praxis are based on justice, equality and sustainable development, so that all human beings may live a decent and dignified life and fully realize their potential through their work.
Through consumer backing, the Fair Trade organizations are actively involved in supporting the producers and creating awareness of the need to change the rules and praxis of conventional trade.
An extensive presentation of the background and the work of the Fair Trade movement may be downloaded her: The international Fair Trade Charter
A good example:
In the very poor, northern part of Ghana it has been a tradition that the peasants supplement their very meagre income from self-supplying farming by selling woven baskets, produced outside the rainy season. The baskets were sold at the local markets, but prices fluctuated very much.
By developing marketable products, paying a fair price above market level and creating a stable demand, Hammershus Fairtrade has succeeded in bringing people above the poverty line, giving them an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families and paying for their children’s schooling. In other words: render a fair help-to-self help.
Fair Trade builds on the old slogan “trade not aid”; in other words, you should concentrate on fair trade rather than aid. So, Fair Trade differs from traditional development aid with a sender and an often passive receiver by involving people in their own development to a very high degree.
The core of Fair Trade is to respect human dignity by acknowledging that people often can and will act themselves, if only they get a chance to do so on fair terms and the necessary support to gain market access.