Fairtrade, as its name says straight away implies trading fair and trade justice. Trading is a PROCESS of buying and selling some products or services and fairtrade works principally on a process of treating people equally without favoritism or discrimination without cheating or trying to achieve an unjust advantage. It simply talks and works on providing a correct and fair price for the work by big and small scale companies to the primary generator of the product in developing countries.
Fairtrade ensures that the price that we pay as a customer, provides enough and not less to the primary producers and farmers so that they are not spared from the basic necessities of living like nutritional food, clean and healthy communities, education, and healthcare facilities.
WHY IS FAIRTRADE NEEDED?
Fairtrade is needed to ensure fairness at all levels. The rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poor due to unfair means of trading and supply chain is a big issue to create an imbalance in the society as a whole because the primary farmers and producers are the most important entity, person and factor in generating for the mass needs and fairtrade ensure that all the basic prerequisites for living a decent lifestyle is covered and maintained.
Fairtrade International was created to work as another way of doing trading. Fairtrade works on collaborations, partnerships for the betterment and interests of farmers and workers to not let them suffer in poverty and under-development scenarios. Fairtrade pledges to work on solutions and standing with farmers and primary creators on the grounds of equality, fairness, fair wage, and human rights.
WHAT DO FAIRTRADE AIMS FOR?
Fairtrade aims to ensure fair wages, power, and pay to the farmers so that overall change is created.
Fairtrade aims to work on key issues like :
ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY FARMING TECHNIQUES
EMPOWERING WOMEN AT WORK AND LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
EDUCATING CHILDREN AGAINST CHILD LABOR
IMPARTING DECENT LIVING STANDARD AGAINST INCOME
WORKERS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENT
GENDER EQUALITY AND FIGHTING FORCED LABOR
HEALTHY WORKING CONDITIONS
MANAGING FAIR PLAY IN TRADE UNION
SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT WORKING TOWARDS
ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE GOALS
Fairtrade aims to give priority and power to the primary farmers and producers so that the base of change is created from the foundation, be it investing money in planet-friendly progressive techniques, keeping them safe from hazards and chemicals, cleanliness, better working environment, financial support, working with higher authorities to mold and adjust with concerning authorities, enhance woman in the field, educating children and having said that there is no sort of human violation human rights.
Fairtrade aims to make and cast a world for products we all want to see. It wants to alter the simple shopping choices within the customers so that the farmers eventually get a better deal out of it. With Fairtrade you have the power to change the world every day. Shopping farmers and producers working on the ground level cannot do it as they have more things to produce and nurture. Fairtrade associations are their voices and additional hands to enhance them in terms of livelihood, economic sense, better off socially and environmentally. They open the doors for better deals, better decisions, future building, and an overall prosperous and sustainable life.
Who gives fair trade certification ?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_trade_certification
HOW FAIRTRADE SUPPORTS UN SUSTAINABILITY GOALS
Fairtrade plays a crucial part in attaining sustainability goals directly and indirectly. It is closely aligned with all the SDGs with an interlinked network of farmers, government, producers, customers, society, and various businesses. There is a direct connection with sustainable goals development. Out of 17 goals and 169 targets to achieve a sustainable world, everything by one means or other is connected to fairtrade and its aims, and while we support fair trade we somehow redirect to attaining the SDGs.
Goal 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 11, 12, 16 like no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well being, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and peace justice and strong institution that closely linked to the fairtrade. So in a way, if we support and adhere to fairtrade we do give ourselves an opportunity to fulfill the sustainability goals. This why the fairtrade association also become a catalyst in achieving the united nations’ sustainable goals.
Read all the UN SUSTAINABILITY GOAL (UNSG)
Also read : WHAT IS ORGANIC FOOD MEANS ?
HOW FAIRTRADE WORKS?
So how it works. Fairtrade works with the people who produce the things we use in daily life. The raw material, the base ingredient. So if we buy the packets of blended latte or a premix of exquisite teas etc..what is the base ingredient of all these products. Coffee bean or tea leaves. It is a middle agency that tries to make the trade of these base products fair to people and companies buying it at fair means and prices. They are like a bridge between farmers and takers so that there are no discrepancies in between.
It also works with big businessmen, direct and wholesale consumers, and campaigners, and marketing agencies to keep the trade sane at all levels. Empowering the main man, the focus of any product; the grower or the producer is how fair trade works. The producers have to join a fairtrade association with a vision of equal pay, sustainable livelihoods, secured future, potential benefits, and breaking the pattern of rich becoming rich and poor becoming poor.
The disadvantaged farmers and workers who are not exposed to the various organization who they can walk up to, who are vulnerable, whose reach is very far, can join hands with fair trade associations to gain fairer trading conditions and empowering themselves to combat poverty, strengthen their future and take control of how they live now and tomorrow.
BASICALLY FAIRTRADE WORKS CLOSELY WITH THE FARMERS ASSOCIALTED WITH THEM ON :
– SETS TRADING STANDARDS
– CERTIFIED PRODUCTS AND INGREDIENTS
– LICENSE THE USE OF THE FAIRTRADE MARK ON THE PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING
– WORKS WITH BIG COMPANIES
– CLOSELY MONITOR GOVERNMENT POLICIES
– WORKS DIRECTLY WITH FARMERS AND WORKERS
– CREATES AND DRIVES AWARENESS PROGRAMS
WHAT WE SHOULD UNDERSTAND WHEN A PRODUCT IS INTERNATIONAL FAIRTRADE CERTIFIED
The International Fairtrade Certification Mark is an independent certification mark in over 50 countries. It appears on products as an independent guarantee that a product has been produced according to Fairtrade political standards. The standards are made and designed to uplift small-scale producers and agricultural workers mostly working in developing countries.
Mostly so because it provides them with better supplies, scholarship programs, heathy and clean meals that are most required in the third world and developing countries because they lack behind on basic infrastructures. and fulfilling resources there makes more sense than to reach out to already flourished farmers and products. Needless to say that they equally need to be empowered, their focus currently is in developing regions. They receive better market-based tools and learn more sustainable new technology to adapt to their work.
If one needs to be fair trade certified, the co-rotative and farmers should comply with the standard put by the fair trade international. There is agency like FLO-CERT that looks and audits and inspects the certifying producers accross 70 countries in continents like Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe.
CONCLUSION – IS FAIR TRADE REALLY FAIR ???
So as of now you already know fairtrade is about empowerment, fair price, equal opportunity, and trade justice for all the farmers and traders, and producers in the developing countries. It’s an easy process if you have the awareness and you can set your product and collaborate with fair trade associations. Needless to say that there are more than 6000+ products associated with the fairtrade association be it Coffee, tea, flowers, gold, bananas, cocoa, coffee, sugar, cotton, fruits, etc.
See the complete list here !
So when you shop, you need to see the FAIRTRADE mark and be aware of greenwashing, but once the fairtrade mark is there, you are already associated with sustainable and ethical trading of the said products. The prices, working condition, local sustainability, and ethical sourcing is being taken care for traders and workers who gets themselves certified. Rest assured to get a minimum wage and cost which can never ever fall below the said market prices and they also receive a premium investment to invest within their communities.
But one of the most talked-about criticism this draws is that it gains profits from the pockets of the farmers. Consumers believe that the association comes with a price that ends up in the producer’s pockets and if the retailer chooses to charge that extra from the customer for fair trade products because they feel the farmers should be paid extra….the association gets to keep the difference and the profits. On many levels, this is criticized on ethical and moral grounds.
But in my opinion, still overall, if there are better prices for the small scale farmers and the workers in the developing countries to have exposed them with advanced infrastructure and giving them the reach, addressing the injustice caused in a conventional manner, which leave the poor in a weaker position, at least they have someone to back them up with the valid minimum Waze for global trade. They have a voice. Though not a switch on-switch off solution but a step in the RIGHT DIRECTION.