Fair Trade is a trading partnership that seeks greater equity in international trade, based on dialogue, transparency and respect. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the global South.
Backed by consumers, Fair Trade organizations, engage actively in supporting producers, raising awareness and campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade. They can be recognized by the WFTO logo.
Fair Trade is more than just trading: it proves that greater justice in world trade is possible. It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first.
The Principle Actors in the Process of Fair Trade
In order for the producers to be selected as an exporter or importer, they need to complete some requirements:
- They must really be an organization of producers (or an organization that exports for them).
- They much be artisans from poor or marginalized areas.
- There must exist a potential market for their products.
- They must adapt the quality of their products according to the demand of the consumer.
- They must respect the environment.
- They must respect human rights and labor rights.
- They must produce products that are constantly of superior quality and changing variety.
Now with globalization and stories of abuse and exploitation, the consumer must know definitively that she is not hurting or doing damage to a human being or to the environment when she buys something. Consumers should not buy products if:
- They perceive that the artisans are not receiving a just wage.
- The artisans are working in dangerous conditions.
- The artisans employ children such that they cannot continue with their education.
- The production is damaging to the environment.
The Bridge of Hope project takes upon itself the task of reinforcing the weakest parts in the chain of commerce and has created mechanisms separated to provide the artisans with a holistic assistance for their development. From the business side, the project only incorporates artisans that complete the previously mentioned requirements (for example, they must be situated in the poorest regions of the country), helping them with:
Advice and Training: Guiding the good administration of the fair prices, in order that the artisan group can obtain a savings from the group, improve the economic conditions of each member, and reflect with their development a support to their community. Each group receives eight workshops (such as design, marketing, and accounting, among other).
Financing: The artisans are allotted a portion of their income for an order before completing the order in order to buy materials.