Fair Trade is about international trading partnerships which seek greater equality. This means means trading in a way which promotes and maintains transparency and respect. It means contributing to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of marginalized producers and workers. WFTO is the World Fair Trade Organisation and uses ten principles to monitor the activities of certificated organisations.
There are a range of accreditation schemes for Fair Trade. The Fairtrade Foundation‘s Fairtrade mark is the most well known in the UK. It guarantees a better deal to producers in the developing world by offering a fair and stable price which covers their production costs, along with a premium that their organisation will be able to reinvest either in the business or social and environmental schemes among the wider community.
Brighton & Hove is a Fair Trade city. This means that our council has passed a resolution supporting Fair Trade, and agrees to serve Fair Trade coffee and tea at its meetings and in its offices and canteens. It also means that Fair Trade products are readily available in the area’s shops, cafes and other catering establishments and that these products are used by a range of local work places and community organisations. A requirement of being a Fair Trade city is also that there is plenty of media coverage and popular support for the fair trade. Finally the setting up of a local steering group ensures there is a continued commitment to Fair Trade status for our city.
Fairtrade International is the international certifying body for Fairtrade labelled products. Its aim is to maintain the high standards and practices of Fair Trade. It does this by working with national Fairtrade organisations such as the UK Fairtrade Foundation. Their website has more details on national Fairtrade issues along with information on Fairtrade food and drink. There are also fascinating stories from the people who benefit most from Fairtrade.
The British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS) is the association for retailers and recognised Fair Trade importers whose purpose is to bring about fundamental changes in the status of working producers through Fair Trade retailing and campaigning.