Promoting fair trade

'Fair trade' recognises that most international trade excludes the poorest and most disadvantaged in the developing world. It works with these groups, developing their capacity to enter the international market and earn income that will allow them to improve their lives and their countries to earn foreign exchange.

Fair trade guarantees a fair price and sometimes a specific development premium, and provides a range of development support to producers. Terms of trade are negotiated openly and transparently.

Trade must be appreciated principally from the perspective of the people. Unfair trade and maldevelopment has resulted in the expansion of TNCs profiting from the misery of the peasantry, workers, women and children, indigenous and other sectors of Third World societies, as well as the impoverishment of working peoples in industrialized countries.

The principal measure of trade policies is whether they promote general economic development and the improvement of the lives of a country's people. Internationally, trade agreements must be measured by their promotion of equality, mutual cooperation and benefit.

A number of cooperative organizations have sprung up to promote the 'Fair Trade' movement, which aims to achieve fair prices for small farmers who produce coffee, fruits or vegetables using environmentally-friendly methods. Such products are beginning to move from niche markets to the mainstream: In 1997 fiar trade coffee, for example, commanded five per cent of the UK market.
1. 'Fair trade' means a lot more than meeting minimum standards. It means working alongside the particularly poor and disadvantaged, those who are bypassed by mainstream trade, supporting and empowering them to earn income from trade that will enable them to improve their lives.

2. According to OECD research reported in 2005, a mere one percent increase in fair trade with the developing world would lift 128 million out of poverty at a stroke. That would create 128 million more consumers.

Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies