Chelmsford Fairtrade Town Campaign

 FAIRTRADE EXPLAINED

WHAT IS FAIRTRADE?

 

The Fairtrade Foundation exists to improve the position of poor and marginalised producers in the developing world. The Foundation encourages UK industry and consumers to support fairer trade and to purchase Fairtrade products. The Fairtrade Label is the only independent guarantee that producers in the developing world get a better deal.

WHY THE FAIRTRADE MARK?

Millions of landless labourers and small scale farmers are denied what should be their right: sufficient income to feed their families, to send their children to school and that little extra to invest in sustainable development. For small farmers access to market information is difficult and, as a result, many small farmers become dependent on middlemen. In bad times many lose their only asset, their land and, thus, their livelihoods. Similarly, many plantation workers endure low pay, an unsafe working environment and poor living conditions. Too often they lack the freedom to join a trade union to defend their rights and the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect their lives on the plantation.
 

The Fairtrade Mark is the only independent guarantee that a product has been traded in compliance with internationally agreed fair trade standards.
 

Millions of landless labourers and small scale farmers are denied what should be their right: sufficient income to feed their families, to send their children to school and that little extra to invest in sustainable development. For small farmers access to market information is difficult and, as a result, many small farmers become dependent on middlemen. In bad times many lose their only asset, their land and, thus, their livelihoods. Similarly, many plantation workers endure low pay, an unsafe working environment and poor living conditions. Too often they lack the freedom to join a trade union to defend their rights and the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect their lives on the plantation.
 

WHAT ABOUT FAIRLY TRADED PRODUCTS?

 

Some organisations like Oxfam and Traidcraft have been trading fairly for many years and sell a wide range of fairly traded products. Along with a number of similar organisations including Body Shop, they belong to the International Federation for Alternative Trade (IFAT). Consumers can trust these organisations because tackling poverty through trade is their main purpose. However, some other companies make their own 'fair trade' claims without having the independent scrutiny of the Fairtrade Mark, or the interests of producers at heart. If you are shopping and see products in the Fairtrade range without the Mark, there is no guarantee that they give producers a fair deal.

There are undoubtedly organisations and companies endeavouring to trade as fairly as possible with their partners, but only the Fairtrade Foundation certifies
Fairtrade licensees.
 

FAIRTRADE STANDARDS

 

There are two producer standards; one for small farmers and one for workers on plantations and in processing factories. The first set applies to smallholders organised in co-operatives or other organisations with a democratic, participative structure.


The second applies to organised workers, whose employers pay decent wages, guarantee the right to join a trade union and provide good housing, where relevant. Minimum health and safety as well as environmental standards must be complied with, and no child or forced labour can occur.

Trading standards stipulate that traders must: pay a price to producers that covers the costs of sustainable production and living; pay a premium that producers can invest in development; make partial advance payments when requested by producers; sign contracts that allow for long-term planning and sustainable production practices.
 

FAIRTRADE GUIDES & MATERIALS

 

The Fairtrade Foundation provides a wealth of information to promote its Mark. These include information on:

        Product and Standards

Introducing Fairtrade

Fairtrade Retail Products and Availability

Licensee and Retailer Contacts

Fair Comment Newsletter

Registered Distributors

The Five Guarantees behind the Fairtrade Mark

A Powerpoint Presentation: Check out Fairtrade

Action Guides

Fairtrade Fortnight Action Guide

Church Action Guide

Students' Guide

Fairtrade and Local Authority Guide

Reports

Spilling the beans on the coffee trade

Unpeeling the Banana Trade

Promotional Materials

Order form

Fairtrade Fortnight Action Flyer

General leaflet

Information pamphlet

Producer poster

Recipe card

Banana Action Card

Ideas Pack
Leaflets, badges and other publicity material
 


These can be downloaded from The Fairtrade Foundation or by post from The Fairtrade Foundation, Suite 204, 16 Baldwin’s Gardens, London EC1N 7RJ

 

 

 

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