What Is Fair Trade?

What is Fair Trade?

Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system. (Fairtradefederation.org)

When you purchase Fair Trade certified goods, you are buying products that invest in the lives of small producers, promote fair wages and gender equality, utilize environmentally sustainable raw materials, and aid in community building in impoverished nations.



The basic tenants of Fair Trade goods are:

• To support small producers and help them attain economic self-sufficiency and business ownership.
• To pay fair wages for goods, and ensure equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
• To ensure that no child labor or forced labor is used in the production of goods.
• A commitment to non-discrimination, based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/Aids status or age.
• The assurance of safe and healthy working conditions, including hours worked and complying with local and national laws.
• Maximizing the use of raw materials from environmentally sustainable sources.


How do I know if something is Fair Trade?

Since a "Fair Trade" label is not protected or enforceable by law, it's best to check and see if the company is certified through a third party certification program. Every Fair Trade item you purchase through Ecotopia has been researched carefully, and is certified from one of the following reputable organizations (click to learn more about each organization):