Further reading What is Fair Trade?

“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, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. 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.” This definition was agreed in December 2001 by the main Fair Trade networks FLO, IFAT (now WFTO), EFTA and NEWS!.

In 2009, The Charter of Fair Trade Principles was adopted which provides a single international reference point for Fair Trade through a concise explanation of Fair Trade principles and the two main routes by which they are implemented. It is also intended to set the foundations for future dialogue and co-operation among Fair Trade Organizations – and between those organisations and other actors – in order that Fair Trade fully develops its potential to secure greater equity in international trade. You can download the Charter of Fair Trade Principles on our website in various languages.

Fair Trade has been recognized by the European Parliament (2006), the European Economic and Social Committee (2009), the European Commission (2009) and the Committee of the Regions (2010). Read more on EU official texts about Fair Trade

Fair Trade Figures

The conclusion in the latest 'Fair Trade Facts & Figures: Fair Trade: A Success story for Producers and Consumers?' states: Even though Fair Trade on its own cannot eliminate poverty, it does provide a major contribution to the achievement of this goal by providing access to fair working conditions, markets, higher pay, equal treatment of women and men, and jobs.

What is new with the Fair Trade Facts & Figures from the Dutch Association of Worldshops (DAWS), published in April 2011, is that it does not only report on facts and figures from the Northern countries but also from the South. The report shows that the Fair Trade movement has had immense success since its initiation: total sales of Gifts and Living products on producer level in Africa reached € 20,2 million in 2010, total sales in Asia is estimated at € 19,4 million in 2010 and the same figure in South America came to approximately € 4.2 million in 2010. Taken together, the producers of Fair Trade Gifts and Living products achieved total sales of € 43.8 million on producer level (which means € 285.7 million on consumer level in the Northern countries).
Worldwide sales of Fairtrade products (FLO-certified) increased from almost € 815 million in 2004 to approximately € 3.4 billion in 2009. The Fairtrade retail sales managed to achieve a positive growth of 13% in 2009.

The conclusions can be downloaded here.

To receive the full report as a PDF, do not hesitate to send an e-mail to info@fairtrade-advocacy.org.

Two main routes of Fair Trade

All Fair Trade products originate from producers and workers committed to Fair Trade principles. However, in the subsequent supply chain, Fair Trade products are traded and marketed through two distinct but complementary channels - through the integrated supply chain route or the product certification route.

The integrated supply chain route whereby products are imported and/or distributed by organisations that have Fair Trade at the core of their mission and activities, using it as a development tool to support disadvantaged producers and to reduce poverty, and combine their marketing with awareness-raising and campaigning.

The product certification route whereby products complying with international standards are certified indicating that they have been produced, traded, processed and packaged in accordance with the specific requirements of those international standards.

You can find out more about the organisations behind the route here.

Business Unusual

Business Unusual is a reference book for everybody who wants to look behind the scenes of Fair Trade. It shows how Fair Trade works in practice, based on the examples of coffee, rice, handicrafts, cotton and textiles. It demonstrates the pioneering work of Fair Trade Organisations in developing a truly responsible business model.

By showing that fair trading is possible, the book wants to encourage all business actors to apply similar principles. It discusses some lessons from Fair Trade for trade policy making, looking behind the reasons for the stalemate in world trade negotiations.

The book is available in English, German, French, Spanish and Dutch. Please email info@fairtrade-advocacy.org to be sent a pdf version.

Read the Press Release Business Unusual November 2006.

Charter of Fair Trade Principles

In 2009, the Charter of Fair Trade Principles was adopted by the World Fair Trade Organisation and Fairtrade International. It provides a single international reference point for Fair Trade and gives a concise explanation of Fair Trade principles and the two main routes by which these are implemented. The Charter is also intended to set the foundation for future dialogue and co-operation among Fair Trade Organisations – and between those organisations and other actors – in order that Fair Trade fully develops its potential to secure greater equity in international trade.

You can read the Charter of Fair Trade Principles in various languages:

 

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