Fair trade is something that most of us have heard of but, how many actually know what it means? People tend to assume that it is all about price and making sure that every one in the production chain gets paid fairly. Yes that is partially correct however, there is so much more to it than that!
So, What is Fair Trade?
The idea behind fair trade is to help producers in developing countries obtain fairer and better trading conditions. Whether the trade involves farming, making wines, growing tea, coffee, flowers or making fair trade gifts, everyone is included. Giving hard working under developed countries the opportunity to trade on the world’s market is something they they otherwise would not have been able to do. Not only does fair trade give producers a fair chance to trade on the market but, it is also about ensuring fair working conditions for everyone involved. It offers greater equality across the globe and allows these developing countries to grow.
Fair trade has developed over the years into something rather special that now also looks into things such as economic growth and sustainability.
A Little Fair Trade History
What a long way it has come yet what a long way it still has to go! Fair trade has been around much longer than you would think. The fair trade foundation was founded in 1992 but there is more history. One of the earliest initiatives was started by the Salvation Army back in 1897. They wanted to help tea farmers in Sri Lanka and so they started the Hamodava Tea Company. They wanted to pay the farmers a fair price for their work. Not only that but, they started up a scheme whereby the farmers could purchase land on a co-operative to allow them financial independence and stability.
There were other movements in between however, one of the next biggest was Oxfam in 1965. They launched a scheme called Helping by Selling where they imported handicrafts to sell. It started as a mail order catalogue and grew from there. Oxfam are still one of the biggest charities selling handicrafts in their charity stores striving to help developing countries.
We Can All Help
The fair trade foundation are have done so much to help and ensure a better life for these producers but there is still a long way to go. The positive effects of fair trade on these countries doesn’t just happen over night, unfortunately. We all need to get on board and ensure that we are all buying fair trade where it is available.
All of the products that you will find in our store are of course all fair trade. What I love about the suppliers that we buy from is the fact that they really do care… Before any purchases are made, trips to the producers are made to. They look for things from working conditions, fair wages and working hours for the individual works and ensuring that there is absolutely zero child labour! Our suppliers have built up fantastic relationship and friendships built on mutual agreements and trust. Regular trips are made to check in and ensure that standards for the workers have not slipped. Also, they to find better ways to help. Now this is something that we can 100% get on board with and plays a big part in our decision making when sourcing new products for you.
From our trinket boxes through to our cotton home furnishings, much of the crafts that we buy are from cottage industries. This means that they are family businesses run from peoples homes. Generations of crafters and artisans working together from their homes. Often whole villages get involved and work together so that life can be improved for everyone. This is trading fairly is so important – offering a chance to those less fortunate than ourselves. Giving opportunities to those where it doesn’t come easily is something we should all help with.