World Fair Trade Day

Fair Trade DayToday is World Fair Trade Day and we spent a good part of the afternoon at One World Market in Durham, where Laura works. To celebrate, they offered refreshments and snacks, and they had Fair Trade quizzes and contests with prizes. The point of Fair Trade Day is to educate people and to “promot[e] fairer trade with marginalised and small scale producers in the majority world.”

The Fair Trade movement is globalization at its best. It focuses on the human connection in global trade and ensures that when I purchase a product that improves my quality of life by its beauty and function, I also know that it improved the life of the person or family that produced it by putting food on the table, helping to educate the children, or purchase products they need. Usually, this exchange also has educational value. I learn about the community where the product was created and the producer learns about the needs in the target markets, usually via sales feedback from the wholesale middlemen.

The integrity of this relationship is critical to the success of the Fair Trade concept. The buyer has to be able to trust the seller about this relationship. That’s why the middlemen have to be certified by an organization like the The International Fair Trade Association or the Fair Trade Labeling Organization. The Fair Trade Resource Network has a great FAQ about Fair Trade and the standards and principles.

So if you buy for example a Persian rug for your living room and you care whether the people who made it were working in good conditions and paid a decent wage, or whether they were chained to the loom in a dim sweatshop and paid with a bowl of rice, then Fair Trade is for you.

One Response to “World Fair Trade Day”

  1. m_riouxm Says:

    I believe that fair trade is beneficial not only to the producers but also to the consumers; a certified fair trade product provides a fair price to the producers and guarantees a price that reflects the real value of the item to the consumors.