The Fair Trade Movement
From modest beginnings over seventy years ago, the Fair Trade movement today is a global movement representing over two million marginalised producers and workers that are organized in nearly 1000 producer organisations across 70 countries in the South. The Fair Trade movement believes that trade can be a fundamental driver of poverty reduction and greater sustainable development, but only if it is managed for that purpose with greater equity and transparency than is currently the norm. It believes that marginalised and disadvantaged farmers, workers and artisans can develop the capacity to take more control over their work and their lives if they are better organised, resourced and supported, and can secure access to mainstream markets under fair trading conditions.
The movement brings together many actors such as Fair Trade Organisations, Labelling initiatives, Marketing organisations, national Fair Trade Networks, Fair Trade Support Organisations, Fairtrade Towns and academic institutions, specialised Fair Trade importers, civil society organisations in both the North and Global South, Churches, researchers and volunteers. All these mentioned, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers and workers, participating in trade, and in awareness raising and in campaigning for changes to the rules and practice of conventional international trade.
The Fair Trade movement supports and works with both labelled and unlabelled goods. Therefore the overriding document for the movement is the Charter of Fair Trade Principles.