Fair Trade Definition
Fair Trade is trade between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers.
Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that 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 have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, 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.
What We Believe
We support and operate by the following Fair Trade Principles:
- Create Opportunities for marginalized/disadvantaged producers – we are committed to helping our artisans gain opportunities by creating and helping guide and develop social and economic opportunities through trading partnerships.
- Develop Transparency and Accountability – we do this by developing relationships with customers and producers that are open, fair, consistent, and respectful. We openly share information about the entire trading chain through honest and proactive communication with our customers and artisan producers. We diligently work through problems work cooperatively with fair trade partners and other organizations to discover and implement solutions.
- Build Capacity – We help our artisan producers build capacity by assisting with access to more markets, product development of both existing products for the best quality and for development of new products. We develop and cultivate long term trusting relationships built on mutual respect and trust. We ensure proactive communication and provide leadership, financial and technical assistance and training. We encourage open dialog and encourage constant and never ending improvement through feedback and lessons learned, to spread best practices, and to strengthen the connections between communities, including among artisan producer groups.
- Promote Fair Trade – We promote Fair Trade through education and advocacy of Fair Trade concepts. We raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system. We actively advocate regarding conventional and alternative supply chains and to make informed choices about where the items are made and by whom. We educate that fair trade can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, the distribution of power, and the environment in the communities with which they work.
- Fair Payment – We believe in paying our artisan producers promptly and fairly. When needed, we offer interest-free advance payment or micro loans for handmade good materials. We encourage and empower our artisan producers to set prices within the framework of the true costs of labor, time, materials, sustainable growth, and related factors. We take steps to ensure that our artisan producers have the capacity to manage this process. We comply with or exceed international, national, local, and, where applicable, Fair Trade Minimum standards for our employees and producers. We ensure that income is distributed equitably at all times, particularly equal pay for equal work by women and men.
- Working Conditions – We support safe and empowered working conditions. We support safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor for our artisan producers. We cultivate workplaces that empower people to participate in the decisions that affect them. We do not discriminate based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. We support and ensure our workplaces are free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.
- Rights of Children – Fair Trade means that all children have the right to security, education, and play. We ensure there is no forced labor of children in our manufacturing process. We respect and support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms. We currently have no children involved in production but will disclose the involvement of any children in production should it occur. We do not support child trafficking and exploitative child labor.
- Respect for the Environment – We strive to cultivate environmental stewardship by actively considering the implications of decisions on the environment and promoting the responsible stewardship of resources. We include recycling in our normal practices and strive to reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible.
- Respect Cultural Identity – We respect the traditions and culture of our local artisan producers. We honor their traditions and respect their cultural heritage in production of products and how they wish to incorporate their traditions and heritage into operations and meetings. We respect the development of products, practices, and organizational models based on indigenous traditions and techniques to sustain cultures and keep traditions alive. Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities, while seeking to create positive and equitable change.