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Fair Trade: The 10 Principles

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Fair Trade is a global movement that shares a vision of business and trade that put people and planet before profit. It fights poverty, climate change, gender inequality and injustice.

The Fair Trade Movement is guided by these 10 principles.


1. Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers

Fair Trade aims to reduce poverty through trade.  Fair Trade enterprises support marginalized small producers. They work with these small producers with the aim to move them from income insecurity and poverty to economic self-sufficiency and ownership.


2. Transparency and Accountability

Transparency and accountability ensures Fair Trade enterprises are accountable to stakeholders. They find appropriate, participatory ways to involve employees, members and producers in decision-making processes. Communication is open at all levels of the supply chain.


3. Fair Trading Practices

This means trading with concern for the social, economic and environmental well-

being of marginalised small producers, not maximising profit at their expense. Fair Trade enterprises maintain long term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. It maintains effective communication with its trading partners and works cooperatively with the other Fair Trade organizations in country to avoid unfair competition. Fair Trade recognises, promotes and protects the cultural identity and traditional skills of small producers as reflected in their craft designs, food products and other related services.


4. Payment of a Fair Price

A fair price is one that has been mutually agreed by all through dialogue and participation, which provides fair pay to the producers and can also be sustained by the market. Where Fair Trade pricing structures exist, these are used as a minimum. Fair pay means provision of socially acceptable remuneration (in the local context) considered by producers themselves to be fair and which takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fair Trade marketing and importing organizations support capacity building as required to producers, to enable them to set a fair price.

5. Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labor

Fair trade organisations adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national and local laws on the employment of children. The organisation ensures that there is no forced labor in its workforce, members or homeworkers. Organizations who buy Fair Trade products from producer groups either directly or through intermediaries ensure that no forced labor is used in production.


6. Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment and Freedom of Association

Fair Trade organisations do not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/Aids

status or age. They have a clear policy and plan to promote gender equality that ensures that women as well as men have the ability to gain access to the resources that they need to be productive and also the ability to influence the wider policy, regulatory, and institutional environment that shapes their livelihoods and lives.


7. Ensuring Good Working Conditions

Fair Trade organisations provide a safe and healthy working environments for employees and members. It complies, at a minimum, with national and local laws and ILO conventions on health and safety. Working hours and conditions for employees and / or members (and any homeworkers) comply with conditions established by national and local laws and ILO conventions. Fair Trade Organisations are aware of the health and safety conditions in the producer groups they buy from. They seek, on an ongoing basis, to raise awareness of health and safety issues and improve health and safety practices in producer groups.


8. Providing Capacity Building

Fair Trade organisations develop the skills and capabilities of employees or members. Organizations working directly with small producers develop specific activities to help these producers improve their management skills, production capabilities and access to markets.


9. Promoting Fair Trade

Part of being a Fair Trade organisation is raises awareness of the Fair Trade movement. Fair Trade organisations advocate for the objectives and activities of Fair Trade and provide their

customers with information about their business, the products they market, and the producer organisations or members that make or harvest the products.

10. Respect for the Environment

Organisations which produce Fair Trade products maximise the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They use production technologies that seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible use renewable energy technologies that minimize greenhouse gas emissions. They seek to minimise the impact of their waste stream on the environment. Fair Trade agricultural commodity producers minimize their environmental impacts, by using organic or low pesticide use production methods wherever possible. Buyers and importers of Fair Trade products give priority to buying products made from raw materials that originate from sustainably managed sources, and have the least overall impact on the environment. All organizations use recycled or easily biodegradable materials for packing to the extent possible, and goods are dispatched by sea wherever possible.

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