fair trade

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fair trade,

a trading arrangement intended to provide more equitable international trade by creating better conditions for disadvantaged or marginalized producers of goods. Fair trade practices include paying fair wages, supporting participatory workplaces and environmentally sustainable production, and developing long-term and supportive buyer-producer relationships, typically between a buyer in a developed nation who is purchasing products from a producer in a developing country. Fair trade results in a smaller margin of profit for (or the complete elimination of) the middleman, while the producer or grower of the product receives a larger portion of the product's ultimate price. The increased income producers and growers earn is intended to enable them to move from economic vulnerability to greater self-sufficiency and from powerlessness in relation to their products to greater involvement and empowerment.

Fair trade practices also are intended to promote sustainable development and to suppress exploitive working conditions, providing a safer and healthier working environment, ideally one in which women's work is valued and children's labor prohibited. Fair trade transactions often involve the sales of agricultural products such as coffee, cocoa, and grains by an independent farmer or agricultural cooperative, or the sales of handmade goods such as crafts or clothing, frequently by individual artisans or members of a cooperative workshop. Much of international fair trade is overseen by the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, an umbrella group (est. 1997) that sets trade and product standards, certifies products, and provides other kinds of support to producer organizations.

Fair trade had its beginnings in the United States in the mid-1940s when an American group began buying needlework from Puerto Rican craftsmen. In 1958 the organization, later named Ten Thousand Villages, opened its first fair trade retail shop. In Europe, the movement began in the 1950s when Oxfam UK imported and sold handicrafts produced by Chinese refugees. In 1964 Oxfam established its first fair trade organization. In 1967 Fair Trade Organisatie was founded in the Netherlands to buy and sell cane sugar produced in Dutch colonies. In 1973 it began to import coffee from Guatemala and later it added tea, cocoa, and other foods to its product roster. Actively supported by a growing group of consumers, fair trade expanded as labeling began (1988) and international standards were established, as more alternative trade organizations were created worldwide, and as new fair trade products were introduced.

References in periodicals archive ?
But the loss of Traidcraft, which led to Tyneside becoming known as a key location for the fair trade movement, will be keenly felt by many of its supporters.
Since a goal of the fair trade movement is to provide higher incomes to farmers and other producers in developing countries to reduce poverty, some of the literature also investigates effects of fair trade on poverty reduction.
The fair trade movement also walks hand in hand with those who oppose unfair trade practices, but allows for a hidden export subsidy in the form of the fair trade price premium.
Moreover, the finding that over 62% of respondents are unwilling to pay any premium at all suggests that the fair trade movement is viewed suspiciously by many.
Furthermore, the uncompensated labor of women was critical for running fair trade awareness programs, internal control of organic standards, and organic farming trainings that sustained the cooperative's fair trade certification and hence its ticket to the financial resources of the global fair trade movement.
The fair trade movement: parameters, issues and future research.
"While the Fair Trade movement is gaining steam nationwide, most of our supermarkets still carry few-if any-Fair Trade products on their shelves," reports Green America.
Since 2008 the Fair Trade movement has continued to grow in Wales, with ongoing support and commitment from the Assembly and Welsh Government.
In order to do so, the analysis of the main findings of the research have been driven by the overall question concerning the structure of interaction between the actors of the project that made the Baniwa traditional knowledge comfortably mesh with the Western fair trade movement through sustainable development practices.
The fair trade movement is more than 50 years old, but has only become prominent in the last 15 years or so.
Sixty-five years ago, Edna Ruth Byler, an American Mennonite, launched a fair trade movement when she began selling embroidery from Puerto Rico to her friends and neighbours.
The Afterword, by Lynn Lohr, a Fair Trade Certified activist, teaches children the basics of how the Fair Trade movement started and what types of items qualify for the designation; she gives concrete examples of how Fair Trade practices help farmers and then lists resources for learning more and recognizing Fair Trade products.