What is fair trade?

Fair trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. It enables these farmers and workers to improve their situation and have more control over their lives. There are a number of conditions that have to be met before a product can be considered fairly traded and they include:

    * a price that covers the cost of production

    * an additional premium for social development purposes, for example funding to support schooling

    * part payment in advance to help avoid small producers falling into debt

    * long term trade relations that allows proper planning and sustainable production practises

    * fair production conditions

Doesn’t fair trade adversely affect producers in our area?

The majority of products that carry the Fairtrade mark are tropical commodity food products such as coffee, tea, chocolate cocoa, bananas, sugar, orange juice, or items where these products are a key ingredient, and these are usually not grown in the UK!

Find out more by going to the Fairtrade Foundation website at http://www.fairtrade.org.uk

How do I know if a product is fairly traded?

If you are buying food and drink, cotton products, roses or sports balls, look for the FAIRTRADE Mark, which is printed on products that have been certified by the Fairtrade Foundation. There are over 2,000 products that are available with this logo. Fairly traded handicrafts do not currently carry the FAIRTRADE Mark as the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation does not have certifying standards for them. To ensure that your handicrafts are fairly traded, buy from a reputable fair trade retailer, such as Traidcraft, Tearcraft or any member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops.