The 10 Principles of Fair Trade
Principle 1: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged ProducersTo reduce poverty through trade and business is one of the many aims of Fair Trade. Enterprises that follow the fair trade business model support small producers by partnering with them on opportunities to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
Principle 2. Transparency and AccountabilityEnterprises should ensure transparency and accountability among its stakeholders. Ensuring dialogue and participation from employees/artisans is key to this system. Both members and producers are encouraged to become active participants of the decision-making process. Transparency and accountability reflects at all levels of the supply chain.
Principle 3. Fair Trading PracticesFair trade enterprises must have genuine concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of artisans and producers. No business has the right to exploit people for gain and profitability.
At the same time, enterprises must maintain constant and open communication, not just with their workers, but also with their trading partners and other fair trade organizations in their country to build healthy and fair competition.
On another note, fair trade gives importance to the cultural identity and traditional skills of a region by promoting and elevating small producers.
Principle 4. Payment of a Fair PriceProducers receive fair prices and wages for their work. Using an open dialogue and participation, the pay and price are agreed upon, which is amenable to the producers. At the same time this must include costs for marketability and sustainability of the products in the open marketplace. Fair pay means provision of socially acceptable remuneration (in the local context) considered by producers themselves to be fair and which takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men.
Principle 5. Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced LaborAbiding and adhering to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as national and local laws involving the employment of children, fair trade organizations must ensure that there are no children involved in labor and production.
Principle 6. Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment and Freedom of AssociationInclusivity despite diversity is at the core of every fair trade certified organization. What does this entail? Fair trade enterprises do not discriminate in the terms of hiring, wage and pay, access to training based on race, nationality, religion, gender or sexual orientation, political affiliation, status or age.
The spirit of fair trade is about ensuring that every individual is given equal recognition and opportunity. This also means that producers have access to resources to become productive and acquire the ability to influence wider policies and regulations to better shape their lives while being able to take care of the environment.
Principle 7. Ensuring Good Working ConditionsA healthy and safe environment should be provided for by fair trade agencies to their members by complying to the national and local laws with regard to health and safety. Whether it be the working hours or the working environment, fair trade enterprises must comply and continue to raise awareness on this aspect of work conditions.
Principle 8. Providing Capacity BuildingIt is the responsibility of fair trade organizations to develop the skills and capabilities of both employees or members. By working directly with small producers, Fair Trade enterprises are compelled to develop specific activities to help these producers improve their management skills, production capabilities and access to markets.
Principle 9. Promoting Fair TradePromote, promote, promote. Embodying the fair trade spirit entails each organization promote and advocate for greater justice in world trade through Fair Trade. This is done by providing information about itself, the products it markets, and the producers, organizations, or members that make or harvest the products.
Principle 10. Respect for the EnvironmentFair Trade certified organizations are encouraged to source raw materials from the local community or least impact to the environment. Technology used in production should seek energy reduction, gearing towards renewable and sustainable energy technologies. All organizations should make use of packaging materials that are Eco-friendly--- recycled, up-cycled or biodegradable.
We have one planet and we must do what we can to work with nature, not against it.
The idea behind fair trade is to challenge the purpose of every business providing a business model that is fair, ethical, and sustainable. That is what Generous Intentions is all about!