Fair Trade Gift Guide

Gift Guides / Thursday, January 11th, 2018


Fair trade gifts

Fair trade gifts are a great alternative when you want to buy something special.

Fair trade is an alternative form of trade promoted by several NGOs, by the United Nations and by social and political movements (such as pacifism and environmentalism) that promote a voluntary and fair commercial relationship between producers and consumers.

Where to buy fair trade gifts

Fair trade gifts on Amazon

What are fair trade products

The fair trade system is an initiative to create innovative commercial channels, within which the relationship between the parties is aimed at achieving sustainable and sustainable development of the offer. Fair trade is oriented towards integral development, with economic, social and environmental sustainability, respecting the idiosyncrasies of peoples, their cultures, their traditions and basic human rights. Fair trade can be considered a humanistic version of free trade, which like this is voluntary between two parties, and would not take place if both parties did not believe that they would benefit.

How Fair Trade works

Fair Trade is a commitment to changing the way global trade works. For too long conventional trade chains have fed growing inequality around the world and left farmers and workers marginalized. You can Help change the status quo with each purchase!

Fair trade’s vision

Fair trade’s vision is a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfill their potential and decide on their future. Fair trade is about trade more fair for all parts.

The majority of African Fair Trade organizations are small-sized cooperatives owned by those who work in them, while only 10% employ external wage earners. Now, among the latter are some reference entities: of the 10 largest Fair Trade organizations that certify their products with the Fairtrade seal all over the world, nine are African.

Some facts about Fair Trade in the world.

In total, it is estimated that 60% of workers and one third of Fair Trade organizations around the world come from Africa. In fact, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana lead the world ranking of countries with the most people working in this movement of social economy and international solidarity.

If we look at the data of Fairtrade, an entity that certifies with the Fairtrade seal about 90% of Fair Trade products sold worldwide, approximately 750,000 people work in the more than 400 organizations spread across 30 countries.

Africa produces and distributes many of their products under the criteria of Fair Trade. To this, we should add the majority of the 90 member organizations of the African branch of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO Africa), usually artisan organizations whose products are not counted among the certifiable by Fairtrade.

Africa Fair Trade products

In East Africa, coffee is the main crop (it employs half of the African Fair Trade workers), followed by flowers and sugar (the latter on the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean). West Africa is where the cultivation of cocoa (in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, mainly) and cotton have more fair trade workers.. In the southernmost countries, with less weight at the continental level, fruits and grapes predominate, with which many of the Fair Trade juices and wines that we know are produced.

At the commercial level, Africa still does not count worldwide: less than 3% of international imports and exports have their origin or destination in this continent, and only 10% of African trade takes place between countries in the region. An export of natural resources, mainly energy and mining, that deepens the extractive, polluting, dependent model, that has characterized the unbalanced African insertion in world trade since the colonial era.

The 10 principles of fair trade.

What makes a product fair trade.

WFTO prescribes 10 Principles that Fair Trade Organisations must follow in their day-to-day work and carries out monitoring to ensure these principles are upheld.

Principle One: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers

The organization supports marginalized small producers, whether these are independent family businesses, or grouped in associations or co-operatives.

Principle Two: Transparency and Accountability

WFTO isis transparent in its management and commercial relations. It is accountable to all its stakeholders and respects the sensitivity and confidentiality of commercial information supplied.

Principle Three: Fair Trading Practices

The organization trades with concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small producers and does not maximize profit at their expense. Suppliers respect contracts and deliver products on time and to the desired quality and specifications.

Fair Trade buyers, recognizing the financial disadvantages faced by Producers and Suppliers of FT products, ensure orders are paid on receipt of documents or as mutually agreed.

The organization maintains long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. It maintains effective communication with its trading partners. The organization works cooperatively with the other Fair Trade Organisations in the country and avoids unfair competition. It avoids duplicating the designs of patterns of other organizations without permission.

Fair Trade recognizes, promotes and protects the cultural identity and traditional skills of small producers as reflected in their craft designs, food products, and other related services.

Principle Four: Fair Payment

A fair payment is one that has been mutually negotiated and agreed by all through on-going dialogue and participation, which provides fair pay to the producers and can also be sustained by the market, taking into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. The aim is always the payment of a Local Living Wage. Fair Payment is made up of Fair Prices, Fair Wages and Local Living Wages.

Principle Six:  Commitment to Non-Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association

The organization does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/AIDS status or age.

The organization respects the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively. Where the right to join trade unions and bargain collectively are restricted by law and/or political environment, the organization will enable means of independent and free association and bargaining for employees. The organization ensures that representatives of employees are not subject to discrimination in the workplace.

Principle Seven:  Ensuring Good Working Conditions

The organization provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees and/or members. It complies, at a minimum, with national and local laws and ILO conventions on health and safety.

Fair Trade Organisations are aware of the health and safety conditions in the producer groups they buy from. They seek, on an ongoing basis, to raise awareness of health and safety issues and improve health and safety practices in producer groups.

Principle Eight:  Providing Capacity Building

The organization seeks to increase positive developmental impacts for small, marginalized producers through Fair Trade. The organization develops the skills and capabilities of its own employees or members.

Principle Nine:  Promoting Fair Trade

The organization raises awareness of the aim of Fair Trade and of the need for greater justice in world trade through Fair Trade.  Honest advertising and marketing techniques are always used.

Principle Ten: Respect for the Environment

Organisations which produce Fair Trade products maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They seek to minimize the impact of their waste stream on the environment. Fair Trade agricultural commodity producers minimize their environmental impacts, by using organic or low pesticide use production methods wherever possible.

All organizations use recycled or easily biodegradable materials for packing to the extent possible, and goods are dispatched by sea wherever possible.