Fair Trade – An Outline

How do you feel about the Fair Trade movement?

The present economic crisis has clearly illustrated how, in these days of the world economy, there is an economic interdependence between all people, all over the globe. Furthermore, the international issues raised by global warming illustrate a similar trans-global interdependence in safeguarding the long term well-being of people.

There seems no doubt that the buying choices that we make in our local shops can have a very real impact on the livelihoods and living conditions of people in places that are many thousands of miles away, and it is this interdependence that has led to the fair trade movement.

Basically, fair trade is all about creating an equitable international trade system. UK businesses that trade on a fair trade basis enter into partnership with their overseas suppliers, who in turn employ equitable methods in their dealings with their employees. This approach facilitates issues such as the level of wages, working conditions and the preservation of local and traditional skills such as embroidery, knitting, weaving and silversmithing. Production of fair trade goods also includes the use of sound methods of production which aim to minimize environmental impact.

Typically, fair traders in the UK may belong to organizations that campaign for improvements in the rules under which international trade is carried out, to provide fairness for producers and their employees, and make exploitation in these relationships a thing of the past. Thus, a shop selling fair trade goods in your high street will be paying a price to their suppliers that reflects accurately the costs of production, and which allows the suppliers to amply reward their workers, thereby raising the living standards of ordinary people in developing nations .

By now you may be thinking that buying goods in a fair trade shop is purely an act of charity on your part. Not so.

Take a look at the range of goods in a fair trade shop selling goods such as homeware and fashion accessories, and you will see attractive products made in distinctive designs, utilizing high quality raw materials. The partnership with producers that fair trade businesses enjoy enables them to work closely with craftsmen and suppliers to produce a fantastic range of exclusively styled products at reasonable prices. The goods available range from jewelry to soft furnishings and clothes. What's more, some companies make these goods available to buy from a fair trade online shop, so that you can avail yourself of a great range of reasonably priced fair trade products without leaving your room!

What could be better?