Author: Steph Munoz

Just What is Fair Trade Anyway?

Just What is Fair Trade Anyway? Most people do know that fair trade is ‘good’. They are also fairly sure that by purchasing fair trade goods they are doing something good for others. But that’s about as far as their understanding of fair trade goes. So, if you really aren’t too sure what it’s all about, don’t feel bad, you are far from alone. How Fair Trade Got Started Fair trade can trace its roots to modest social efforts in the 1940s in both the US and Europe that sought to help poverty stricken communities sell their handicrafts to wealthy buyers. It really took off in the Sixties, when a fictional Dutch character, Max Havelaar, was ‘created’ to advocate for exploited coffee pickers. Today fair trade is a wide international effort that has helped millions of small producers gain a better standing in life. Looking at just one of the four major organizations that administer fair trade globally, Fair Trade International, you discover that they have helped millions of small farmers and craftsmen in over 70 different countries increase their earnings and support community growth. How Fair Trade Affects Workers In order for any business to be considered for certification as a fair trade company they must promise to pay their workers a decent living wage, a sum that varies according to location. They must also be given all...

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Impact of Fair Trade on Poor Countries

Examining the Impact of Fair Trade on Poor Countries The usual understanding of fair trade is that it is a system that will aid the growth of developing countries, empowering its producers to grow their businesses and pass that success onto their communities. However, in the opinion of some it’s not currently living up to that promise. Fair trade, which began developing in the 1960s as a social movement, focuses on the export of goods from developing countries to developed nations. Although an increasing number of products are falling under the fair trade umbrella it still primarily encompasses food...

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Fair Trade Certification Problems and Challenges

Fair Trade Certification Problems & Challenges An official fair trade certification gives a small farmer or producer something potentially extremely valuable; the chance to sell their products in new, far larger and more lucrative markets, markets all over the world, and a chance to compete with multinational corporations on a leveller playing field. These fair trade certifications are granted by a growing number of regulated bodies, which include FLO International and TransFair USA. In granting them, it is seen as a guarantee to consumers that if they buy a certified product not only will the producers truly benefit from purchases...

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