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 ?
Mayor Choi Chang-sik said the district "is unique in that it is shared by firms and traditional markets, an ideal condition to spread fair trade.
Without Fair Trade wages, women can not work their way out of impoverished situations.
As part of the awarding process, staff and students have worked collaboratively to meet the foundation's criteria which has included creating a fair trade policy, visiting fair trade suppliers, delivering fair trade assemblies and learning activities, as well as running a fair trade campaign.
For example, Canton Library in Cardiff will be hosting a fair trade display from Fair Dos/Siopa Teg CIC until Monday, May 18.
While there is not one agreed-upon definition of fair trade as it pertains to fair traded products such as coffee, most definitions relating to fair traded products refer to a social movement where socially conscious consumers willingly pay above-market prices to support workers (often agricultural) in developing countries.
The Fair Trade Campaigns organization, whose leaders include a number of students and faculty, spreads the use of more than 80 fair trade products, such as coffee, tea, sugar, fruit and cotton.
Goods -- coffee is the best known, but there's also chocolate, sugar, coconut, cotton, tea, flowers, nuts, fruits and vegetables -- are certified as Fair Trade by a handful of organizations around the world.
Rousu and Corrigan (2008) used the Becker-DeGroot-Marshak (BDM) auction mechanism to estimate willingness to pay for fair trade of 122 shoppers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (United States) and found that the average fair trade premium was around 10% for bananas and 20% for chocolate bars.
Researchers found that fair trade agricultural workers often earned lower incomes.
The SOAS research suggests that Fair Trade has failed to make a positive difference.
To mark these twin achievements Fair Trade Wales collected thousands of My Fair Trade Nation postcards from supporters across Wales and sent Santa Claus to deliver those messages to Scotland.
Fair Trade Egypt developed independently from these projects to become Egypt's first fair trade producer network and retailer.