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What is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade offers a model for trade which values the interests of poor people and the environment.

Fair Trade means that producers:

    * receive a fair price for their product or labour
    * work in healthy and safe conditions
    * develop direct and long-term relationships with their buyers
    * have access to credit and technical assistance
    * use sustainable and environmentally-friendly techniques
    * work within cooperatives and associations

Fair Trade definition (adopted by FINE*, Dec 2001)

Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalised producers and workers - especially in the South. Fair Trade organisations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of international trade.

*FINE is a international fari trade networks forms by 4 organization. Fairtrade Labelling Organisations, International, International Fair Trade Association, Network of European Worldshops, European Fair Trade Association.

What is the difference between fair trade and free trade?

So what is the difference between "free trade" and "fair trade"? Free trade is so named because the prices of goods and services are market-driven, all producers get the same conditions (in theory) and there are no import limits. However, in reality, certain industries get government financial help so that they can sell their goods at unfairly low "dumping" price levels. Furthermore, the large corporations that control most of the world's coffee trade strive to undercut each other on price, which they commonly achieve by cutting wages and benefits to labourers. When these workers earn about $0.80 per pound of coffee - while consumers pay double that, and more, for a single cup - "free trade" is clearly unfair.

The Fair Trade movement, sometimes called the trade justice movement, promotes standards for the production and trade of different goods and services. Fair trade strives not only for economic development, but also for social justice, environmental protection, and maintaining stronger trade connections.

Labels used in United States ("Fair Trade Certified"), United Kingdom ("Fairtrade") and Europe ("Max Havelaar") are a guarantee that the producers of the goods you buy meet Fair Trade standards. Today, 19 countries have their own labelling initiatives which operate under the guidelines of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), and more than 500 partner organisations have already been certified in accordance with international fair trade standards. They require a guarantee of fair process, no child or slave labour, anti-dumping practices, and high quality standards. In addition, they must employ environmentally-friendly growing methods. Thus organic farming is often linked with Fair Trade movement, because of the common emphasis on environmental and social balance. All these standards also follow the conventions of the International Labour Organization.

As consumers, we don't need to donate large sums of money to make a difference. When we choose Fair Trade products - such as coffee, bananas, tea, chocolate, honey, sugar, orange juice or flowers - we support the movement. We help third world producers keep their farms, and improve the living and working conditions of farmers, workers, and families in regions that need us the most.

Who benefits from Fair Trade and how?

Small-scale farmers and workers

Fair Trade has helped build economic independence and empowerment for certified farmer cooperatives and their workers, bringing them economic stability and a higher standard of living. Beyond being paid a fair price for their products, a social premium helps build necessary social infrastructure of which the following are several examples:

    * Improved access to low- or no-interest loans
    * Technical assistance for building infrastructure to increase production
    * Communications systems, and collectively-owned transport and processing equipment
    * Technical training and skills diversification for members and their families


Fair Trade benefits consumers in the following ways:
    * Gives them the option of purchasing according to their principles and values
    * Empowers them to be a player in the solution to the integrity of global trade
    * Provides them with fine quality products
    * Assures them of the ethical source of their foods and non-food purchases


Environmentally sustainable farming and production practices.
    * Organic farming methods which avoids pollutants, pesticides and herbicides
    * Crop diversification

Source from details of fair trade information can check out from there

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