Fair Trade is growing throughout the world, with more and more manufacturers taking on the principles of Fair Trade every year. In this article we aim to tell you some facts about fair trade that you may or may not know. Some are simply the aims and goals of every fair trade organization, while others are facts and figures about Fair Trade across the world.
There are a number of benefits of fair trade for farmers and manufacturers in developing nations.
We hope, given time and consumer pressure, these practices will spread across more industries and more trades so that a greater proportion of workers in the developing world can enjoy the benefits of fair trade.
Stable and Fair Prices
Stable prices are maintained throughout the year, even when the market demand changes adversely. This is a good deal for those farmers who depend on crops as the only source of income.
In a normal market, farmers will run at a loss when the demand is low and production is high. Fair trade practices benefit the farmers in this regard.
Stable prices are important for manufacturers of other products as well as foodstuffs. For many products there is a strong seasonal demand, with various factors such as the weather and Christmas causing fluctuations in the demand. Many Fair Trade companies pledge to maintain a steady level of purchasing throughout the year to enable the farms and factories to maintain steady revenue streams and stable employment.
For a long time, as well as being concerned about the welfare of workers in developing nations, people have also been concerned about the fact that we are spending so much fuel and resources to ship products half way round the world.
While Fair Trade seeks to improve the lot of the workers who make our goods, as well as minimizing environmental impact of their operations, the goods still have to be shipped from the country of origin into the European and North American markets where they will be used.
Impact of shipping
At present, this shipping of goods round the world by sea or air has an environmental effect in terms of:
- Using up fossil fuels
- CO2 emissions from container shipping is estimated to be 4-5% of the global total.
- Sea pollution from oil spills
- Sound pollution affecting marine populations
- Ship impacts are known to be a large factor in whale mortality
- Waste water – grey water from washing ad showers etc. discharges chemicals into the oceans.
- Bilge water – smaller volumes of unclean water contaminated with leaks from machinery and engine spaces.
- Solid waste – Paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, metals. Much of this waste is incinerated at sea and the ash discharged.
To read more about this please see the Wikipedia article on the Environmental impact of shipping.
The British Association of Fair Trade Shops are having their first regional meeting in Melbourne, Derbyshire. Time: Tuesday 18th June 2013 6pm to 9pm Place: The Fair Trading Place, 28 Market Place, Melbourne, Derbyshire DE73 8DS Car Parking, discussions and the supper will be available (just across the road from the shop) at Melbourne Assembly Rooms, […]
What is Fair Trade?
Most people who read this post are probably well aware of the nature of Fair Trade, and the WFTO ten fundamental principles of Fair Trade that guide most people trying to trade in an ethical and fair way.
So what makes companies who follow these Fair Trade principles different from those that don’t.
This post aims to highlight some of the differences, but also understand why other companies do not follow fair trade principles.