This small label represents an international social movement to bring justice to artisans, farmers, and workers across the world, compensating them appropriately for their products and ensuring appropriate working conditions. The Fair Trade Federation defines Fair Trade as:
"...an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system. Fair trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. These producers lack economic opportunity and often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods. Fair trade is much more than just trade. At the core of the fair trade model is a direct, cooperative, and in-depth relationship between buyers and sellers that keeps all of the principles of fair trade at the forefront. Fair Trade is about making a tremendous impact on artisan and farmer communities while offering great products to the public."
In many cases, "free trade" (the opposite of "Fair Trade") products are connected to child labor and human trafficking, issues we often discuss at Stowe Center programs. Check out this short video from Fair Trade USA which shows how small purchasing decisions can make a world of difference.
Purchasing Fair Trade products is an easy way to make a difference and take action on human trafficking and human rights worldwide. So the next time you see two similar products, one a few dollars more but stamped "Fair Trade Certified," which will you purchase?