We celebrate World Fair Trade Day on Saturday 12th of May 2018 with the theme of ‘Live fair, one Fair Trade product at a time’ for this year’s celebration.
It is a strategy of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), created in 2004. ‘The WFTO is a global association of 324 organisations in over 70 countries’. Fair Trade is not a charity but an alternative trading system and is pioneered by Fair Trade enterprises who benefit marginalised producers. By supporting World Fair Trade Day we can help develop opportunities for small and disadvantaged producers. We can join together in the ‘fight against poverty and exploitation, climate change and the economic crisis that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations’.
The History of Fair Trade
World Fair Trade day has always aimed to spread awareness on the inequalities in trade. By joining the Fair Trade Movement we can improve the lives of workers and producers, especially those within developing economies. It’s principles are set on the basis of;
- Opportunities for disadvantaged producers
- Transparency and accountability
- Fair Trade practices
- Fair payment
- No child labour and no forced labour
- No discrimination, gender equality or freedom of association
- Good working conditions
- Capacity building
- Respect for the environment
Over 60 years Fair Trade has developed exponentially. Ethical consumption and the Fair Trade Movement Is the cultural zeitgeist of our time. An increasing number of people and institutions are using and promoting Fair Trade products. This contribution is taking the world one step closer to overcoming inequalities in trade, poverty and exclusion.
How can we support Fair Trade?
We celebrate Fair Trade as a contribution to sustainable development. In particular, the economic empowerment of small producers and gender equality in workplaces. You can join Fair Trade Enterprises, supporters, advocates and campaigners in the Fair Trade Movement. It really is a movement we should all be following as they;
Provide us with eco-friendly products
In a recent report, it was found that ‘a quarter of UK consumers said they would buy Fairtrade products, organic foods and green cleaning products even if it cost them more money’. This is a step in the right direction because not only does it boost a fair and ethical economy but it also helps support social entrepreneurship. The ethical consumption of clothing, food and tourism has been a recent global trend with a focus on preserving the environment and its natural resources. For example, recent headlines include the plastic pollution and the result of this is a proposed ban on plastic straws. Also the refill your water bottle scheme is proposed in order to help reduce the ‘800 plastic bottles a minute which end up in landfill or as litter in the UK and make their way into our waterways and the sea’.
As part of the Fair Trade Movement, we can purchase a variety of fairtrade produce from bananas, chocolate, gold, beauty products, coffee, cotton, flowers, sugar, tea and wine. Moreover, it’s sustainable for clothing to be made from fair trade materials. As fair consumers, we should use the power we have in our capitalist system to purchase products which reflect sustainability and ‘save the planet from exploitation and further degradation’.
Promote Economic Empowerment
This would enable workers and producers to receive fair payment and allows them to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. Fair Trade also highlights how we can achieve greater justice in world trade. We need to change the conventions of trade as we know it and put people first.
Uphold Gender Equality
Fair trade encourages women empowerment and women’s rights. Fair trade stands against the social and cultural norms which act as barriers to women’s participation in agricultural and producer organisations. Furthermore, through donations, we can help fund programmes and projects which address the issues and barriers women face and help reach gender equality. ‘Fair trade believes businesses should invest in gender analysis of their supply chains, before developing a gender equality policy and action plan which might include a gender committee or women’s directorate’. This will widen the opportunities open for women and provide them with greater independence.
Spread Fair Practices and Diminishing Inequalities in the Supply Chains
From the organisation to the people, activities, information and resources can help the production and distribution of a commodity to be fair and spread equally. ‘In the Fair trade system, every product supply chain is required to comply with standards based on the ILO Conventions on Forced and Worst Forms of Child Labour, regardless of company size.’
Advocate Responsible Production and Management of Natural Resources
Fair Trade supports sustainable practice and they understand the environment and its natural resources. The world’s resources are finite, not infinite.
How to celebrate World Fair Trade Day
- Join in on social media with the interactive campaign using the hashtags #LiveFair #FairTradeDay
- Companies promoting sustainable and fairtrade products should tell their stories and describe the quality and inspiration behind their products
- Organise a Fair trade marketplace in your town to showcase your Fairtrade products to your local customers
- Organise or attend World Fair trade Day Festival/Concerts
- Fairtrade breakfast/lunch/dinner and coffee breaks- promote in the workplace
- Fair trade fashion shows
- Hold lectures and debates on Fairtrade
- Be creative and organise an event.
If we can help on any issues arising from Fair Trade issues please contact us.