Getting an Idea of What Fair Trade Practices Involve
What are fair trade practices? Fair trade boils down to promoting sustainable, fair price trading at all levels of business. Most efforts focus on individual or small group producers in third world countries. The practices of fair trade involve promoting living wages for workers in their local communities. In agricultural communities, food prices must meet a minimum regardless of what the rest of the world pays. The minimum insures that local farmers have the ability to make a decent living. Practices also look at the type of labour. Forced labour is not allowed and neither is exploitive child labour.
In many business relationships, the buyer has no interest in the producer outside their product. But, in fair trade practices, this is not the case. Buyers work to create relationships with their producers. They provide financial and technical help where necessary. They sometimes provide some level of pre-payment to give the producer funds to purchase materials and to have basic living expenses covered. Many of these relationships can last for years. Buyers must respect local cultural identity where applicable.
Working with minorities and women are essential to fair trade practices. They are often the ones isolated in the business community. To promote fair practices, it is essential to bring them into the marketplace as equal producers. Another essential practice is financial accountability in a public way. This means all fair trade companies must provide open financial reports, policies, and business practices. Doing business in secret promotes an imbalance in the buyer-producer relationship. Openness to scrutiny allows companies to attract producers of higher quality. These practices help to promote the living of everyone in a single community. On a whole, it improves the living standards of everyone around the world.
Fair trade is not about promoting paying developed world wages to developing world workers. It is not about moving jobs from developed countries to developing ones. It is not about moving against the globalization of business. It is not a type of charity. It does not involve overpricing goods or making substandard models. The core of fair trade practices is giving producers in developing nations a living wage in their community. It is giving them the chance to grow jobs in their local communities. It is not charity since they have to work very hard. It involves a fair price for goods of equal quality as those in conventional trade. These are the essential of what fair trade involves.