Fair Trade - Meaning From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to
alleviating global poverty and promoting sustainability. The movement advocates
the payment of a fair price as well as social and environmental standards in
areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. It focuses in
particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most
notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine,
fresh fruit, and so on.
Fair trade's strategic intent is to deliberately work with marginalised
producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of
vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency. It also aims at
empowering them to become stakeholders in their own organizations and actively
play a wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international
Fair trade proponents include a wide array of international religious,
development aid, social and environmental organizations such as Oxfam, Amnesty
International, and Caritas International.
Like most developmental efforts, fair trade has proven itself controversial and
has drawn criticism from both ends of the political spectrum. Some economists
and conservative think tanks see fair trade as a type of subsidy. Segments of
the left criticize fair trade for not adequately challenging the current trading
In 2006, Fairtrade certified sales amounted to approximately $2.3 billion
worldwide, a 41% year-to-year increase. While this represents less than one
hundredth of a percentage point of world trade in physical merchandise, fair
trade products generally account for 0.5-5% of all sales in their product
categories in Europe and North America.
In October 2006, over 1.5 million disadvantaged producers worldwide were
directly benefiting from fair trade while an additional 5 million benefited from
fair trade funded infrastructure and community development projects.
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