About Fair Trade
Fair Trade in Europe started as a grassroots movement about 40 years ago. The aim was to alleviate poverty in the 'Global South' - Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean - by building direct, sustainable relationships with disadvantaged producers and providing fair access to markets in the developed 'North'. The aims are the same now, but Fair Trade has developed into a powerful force, symbolised by a high level of European co-operation.
Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized 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 practices of conventional international trade.
All involved in Fair Trade accept that it has to include: paying fair prices to producers which reflect the true cost of production, supporting producer organisations in their social and environmental projects, promoting gender equality in pay and working conditions, advising on product development to increase access to markets, committing to long term relationships to provide stability and security and campaigning to highlight the unequal system of world trade which places profit above human rights and threatens our environment.
To find the Ten Principles of Fair Trade please refer to the Resources Section.