There is always a ‘feel good’ factor when buying Fair Trade products, but do we really know how companies committed to Fair Trade practices operate?
Fair Trade is more a way of life than just a way of 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.
- It is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and economic crisis.
The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) aims to improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged people in developing countries by linking and strengthening organisations that offer alternatives to unfair trade structures and practices. WFTO members come together in solidarity to create an alternative and fairer way of doing business.
WFTO members share the following 10 practices:
Commitment to Fair Trade
Trade with concern for social, economic and environmental well-being. This means equitable commercial terms; fair wages and fair prices.
Openly share financial information, management policies, product sources, marketing and development program plans on a regular basis.
Reflect in their structures a commitment to fair employment, public accountability and progressive work practices. Aim for adequate income for workers to meet their basic needs, including health care, education, and the capacity to save.
Provide a safe working environment allowing individuals to grow and reach their potential. Ensure that work is carried out in humane working conditions using appropriate materials and technologies while following good work practices.
Equal Employment Opportunities
Oppose discrimination and ensure equality of employment opportunities for both men and women who suffer from the effects of poverty, racial, cultural and/or gender bias.
Concern for People
Promote development which improves the quality of life and which is sustainable for and responsible to both people and the natural world. There is no exploitation of child labor. Trading activities should not violate indigenous peoples’ claims on land or any resources of vital importance to their way of life.
- Concern for the Environment Encourage the trading of goods which are environmentally friendly and manage resources in a sustainable way to protect the environment.
Respect for Producers’ Cultural Identity
Encourage production and development of products based on producers’ cultural traditions and natural resources.
Education and Advocacy
Promote fair trade by encouraging people to consume based on issues of social justice and concern for the environment. Support campaigns for international policies that will improve the living conditions of the poor in developing countries as well as increase awareness of cultural values in order to promote intercultural understanding and respect.
Establish relationships within a framework of trust and mutual respect, avoiding prejudice or harm to colleagues’ images and reputations. These relationships are based on reciprocal benefits and fair exchanges and should be of a nature that extends beyond trading itself. WFTO members and observers agree to negotiate our differences through open and direct dialogue.
Kapula Candles and Ceramics are guaranteed members of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). We respect their commitment and proudly represent them in the United States.