The Fairtrade logo is familiar … but many people would like to know more about what Fair Trade is and why it’s sometimes one word and sometimes two.
All the main groups that work on Fair Trade have agreed that:
- Fair Trade can be defined as 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, marginalized producers and workers.
- Fair Trade Organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.
Within the overall Fairtrade movement, there are two distinct sets of standards: one that applies to products and one that applies to organisations.
One word ‘Fairtrade’ covers particular goods that have been produced to ‘Fairtrade Standards’. In the UK, it is managed by the Fairtrade Foundation, which is part of Fairtrade International. The Fairtrade Foundation licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE mark on products when the Fairtrade Standards – which cover social, economic and environmental criteria – have been met by the farmers, workers, and companies involved in growing or making the products.
For farmers and workers these standards include protection of workers’ rights and the environment; for companies that are buying the goods from producers, they include the payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price, which provides a safety net amidst the fluctuations of commodity prices, and the payment of an additional Fairtrade Premium to assist with development.
If you buy a Fairtrade product, you can be confident that that its producers have received the Fairtrade price and premium, that they have cared for the environment, and that no forced or child labour has been involved.
Fairtrade rallies a global community of millions – farmers and workers, supply chain partners, brands, retailers, shoppers, schools, government – to pay fair prices and uphold fair production standards and practices. There are over 1.66 million farmers and workers in 1,411 producer organisations across the Fairtrade system.
The FAIRTRADE Mark guarantees the credentials of a product … but not of the company selling it. Some Fairtrade products are sold by organisations that are Fair Trade through and through. In other cases, a company may agree to the Fairtrade Standards for some products, but not others.
The World Fair Trade Organization is the global community and verifier of social enterprises that are fully Fair Trade and practice the ’10 Principles of Fair Trade’ in everything they do. Spread across 76 countries, WFTO members all exist to serve marginalised communities. To be a WFTO member, an enterprise or organisation must demonstrate they put people and planet first in all their activities. The organisation is democratically run by members, who are part of a broader community of over 1,000 social enterprises and 1,500 shops.
The WFTO focuses on both social enterprise and Fair Trade. WFTO verifies members are mission-led enterprises fully practicing the 10 Principles of Fair Trade across their business and supply chains. Once verified, all members have free use of the WFTO Guaranteed Fair Trade product label. https://wfto.com/who-we-are
Who We Are
The Oxford Fair Trade Coalition brings together the different people and groups who support Fair Trade in Oxford – the City Council; Fair Trade retailers, including our dedicated Fair Trade shops; organisations and societies; universities, colleges and schools; faith groups; and others.