10 Principles of Fair Trade
2015-11-12 - The search for holiday gifts has started again. You may be looking for Fair Trade presents to make sure the people behind your gift benefit as well. Sounds wonderful but what does Fair Trade actually mean?
The World Fair Trade Organization prescribes 10 Principles that Fair Trade organisations should follow:
1. Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
2. Transparency and Accountability
3. Trade Relations
4. Payment of a Fair Price
5. Child Labour
6. Non-Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association
7. Working Conditions
8. Capacity Building
9. Promoting Fair Trade
Fair Trade in Bangladesh.
Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalised by the conventional trading system.
Transparency and Accountability
Fair Trade involves transparent management and commercial relations to deal fairly and respectfully with trading partners.
Fair Trade organisations trade with concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalised small producers and do not maximise profit at their expense.
Payment of a Fair Price
A fair price in the regional or local context is one that has been agreed through dialogue and participation. It covers not only the costs of production but enables production which is socially just and environmentally sound. It provides fair pay to the producers, and takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fair Traders ensure prompt payment to their partners and, whenever possible, help producers with access to pre-harvest or pre-production financing.
Fair Trade organisations respect the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms in order to ensure that the participation of children in production processes of fairly traded articles (if any) does not adversely affect their well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play.
Non-Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association
The organisation does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/Aids status or age. Fair Trade means that women's work is properly valued and rewarded. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process and are empowered in their organisations.
Artisan in Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar.
Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment for producers. The participation of children (if any) does not adversely affect their well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play and conforms to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the law and norms in the local context.
Fair Trade is a means to develop producers' independence. Fair Trade relationships provide continuity, during which producers and their marketing organisations can improve their management skills and their access to new markets.
Promoting Fair Trade
Fair Trade organisations raise awareness of Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in world trade. They provide their customers with information about the organisation, the products, and in what conditions they are made.
Fair Trade actively encourages better environmental practices and the application of responsible methods of production.
[Source: World Fair Trade Organization]