Fair Trade matters. It impacts one of the most vexing problems of our time—poverty—by empowering individual consumers to participate in the creation of a more equitable society. Those who choose to purchase Fair Trade products offer hope, justice and transformation to a world facing seemingly overwhelming challenges.
Fair Trade supports third-world artisans and their families by offering them economic opportunity and dignity in the form of just wages. When you buy fair trade items, you help artisans like this woman from Uganda earn a living, feed her family, and send her children to school. This artisan works at Uganda Crafts which provides training to help people, mostly women, use and market their skills. The organization also owns a retail store that provides jobs for people with physical disabilities. Uganda Crafts provides hope to women, disabled people, youth, and those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
By choosing Fair Trade, consumers can ensure that the products they consume and enjoy were made in safe and healthy working conditions and the farmers and producers who made the items were paid a fair wage for their work.
By using eco-friendly farming practices or raw materials found in nature or recycled, Fair Trade supports sustainable practices that minimize our environmental footprint.
Since items are made in smaller quantities and by hand, artisans take pride in their work and produce items with great detail and quality.
Farmers are involved in their farms and invested in the entire production process. Crops are grown and harvested in smaller quantities so the result is fresher and tastier food.
Fair Trade actively promotes integrated farm management systems that improve soil fertility and preserve valuable eco-systems and limits the use of harmful agrochemicals that present dangers to farmers’ health. That means food that’s safer for you and the farmers who grow it!
By working through cooperative structures, Fair Trade artisans and small farmers are able to invest Fair Trade earnings in their communities, improving housing, healthcare and schools.
Fair Trade is committed to strengthening direct partnerships between buyers and producers. These partnerships provide an avenue for buyers to purchase quality products from people they trust and offer a sustainable and reliable way for farmers, artisans and their families to improve their livelihoods.
Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Farmers and artisans are involved in the entire process and Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from.
Fair Trade gives farmers and artisans control of their own future. They can build their own businesses, rather than work for a middleman, and the profits stay in their communities and go back into their businesses.
By choosing Fair Trade products, you are not only accessing high quality products, you are making a difference in the lives of the people who grow the food you eat and the goods you use.
From the Fair Trade Resource Network, 2008