Many products we buy are produced overseas in developing countries. Sadly, the potential for vulnerable workers to be exploited and under-paid is increased in these parts of the world.

When you buy a fair trade product you’re supporting the fair pay and working conditions of people in developing countries. Fair trade improves conditions for women, provides better health and education for kids and supports sustainability. 

Spot the difference – fair trade, Fairtrade and Fair Trade.

It can be confusing as a consumer with a lot of very similar terms flying around. There’s ‘fair trade’ which is the movement advocating for the fair and ethical treatment of producers and makers of products. 

Then you’ve got ‘Fair Trade’ which refers to products created and traded in accordance with the 10 principles of fair trade as authorised by the World Fair Trade Organization. Products adhering to these principles are certified by Fair Trade Association Australia New Zealand. 

Then there’s Fairtrade, that’s all one word, which is a trademark created by the non-profit organisation Fairtrade International. They certify that products have been audited across the supply chain and meet their stringent internationally recognised standards.These standards ensure farmers are paid a fair price and that the premium paid is invested in the future of their communities.

Certification

Many products claim to be ‘fair trade’, yet without either the Fairtrade or Fair Trade accreditations it can be difficult to know for sure the impact you’re making with what you buy.  However, it’s also important to consider that for small producers in the poorest communities the cost of third-party certification can be prohibitively expensive.

Goodsmiths collaborate with many good businesses – with or without third party certification.They go to great lengths to ensure the people producing their goods are paid a decent wage, while also empowering and contributing positively to their communities which is the very essence of the fair trade movement. 

Fairtrade Fortnight

August 2nd -15th is Fairtrade Fortnight. This campaign by Fairtrade Australia New Zealand (a member organisation of Fairtrade International) is aiming to raise awareness of, and promote Fairtrade products. You can find out more here.