What is Fair Trade & Why?
As a consumer, you have a choice to support a business model that places people and sustainability at the center of its business decisions creating positive change. When you choose fair trade, you improve and impact the lives of people in Asia, Africa, Latin America and in other developing regions of the world who otherwise may not have income opportunities. Fair trade is not about charity; it is about developing long-term, ethical and sustainable economic partnerships with producers based on fair exchange.
One World Goods practices and sources the products it sells from certified Fair Trade organizations that follow the Principles of Fair Trade.
Principles of Fair Trade
The World Fair Trade Organization has established the following 10 principles that Fair Trade organizations use to guide their day-to-day work:
- Create opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers
- Develop transparent and accountable relationships
- Create long-term fair trade relationships built on trust and respect
- Payment of a fair price that is mutually agreed upon
- Ensure that children are not exploited or forced to labor
- Commit to non-discrimination, gender equity and freedom of association
- Support healthy and safe working conditions
- Provide capacity building skills to producer groups
- Promote Fair Trade
- Respect for environment with minimal environmental impact
Fair trade assures you, the customer that producers are paid fair prices for their products and labor. It gives them more direct market access removing many of the “middle-men” who traditionally have absorbed the majority of the profits. Trading terms are mutually agreed upon, empowering marginalized small producers to move from poverty to self-sufficiency and ownership.
In many countries, labor laws are weak, non-existent or not enforced. Agricultural work in particular can present dangerous conditions. When you buy fair trade coffee or cocoa, you are supporting farmers who work in safe conditions and are paid a wage that covers their daily needs.
Fair trade provides employment without discrimination and ensures equal pay for equal work for both women and men. Currently, the majority of fair trade Artisans are women who are often the sole wage earners of their family. Fair trade has opened new opportunities for women in these regions, empowering, educating and giving women an equal voice in the community.
Why Fair Trade? When you shop at One World Goods and buy a product that is “made in Vietnam” or “made in India”, you know that it is sweatshop free and you have made a difference in the life of another. At One World Goods you will “Accent your Life” and “Empower Another’s”.