Friday once again, and time for this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post. Imagine getting up every morning and going to work, but discovering on payday that you have to pay your boss for being there… Sounds silly, right? Consider then that of the roughly 8 million tonnes of coffee consumed every year, some 80% is sold for less than what it costs to grow it. That’s just one example, albeit a common one; where would we be without our caffeine jolt in the morning? While people are generally happy to discover low prices on foods and other products in the store, how many stop to consider what the ‘cost’ of those low prices really is?
In 2001, FINE members agreed the following definition of fair trade, on which to base their work:
“Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair trade organisations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade”.
FINE members further agreed to define fair trade‘s strategic intent as:
- deliberately to work with marginalised producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency,
- to empower producers and workers as stakeholders in their own organisations,
- actively to play a wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade.