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Fair Trade

Fair Trade


Fair Trade is about working with people in the poorest nations to enable them to live in dignity and with hope for the future. Fair Trade works by paying reasonable wages for the work that is performed, by respecting the needs of individuals, by committing to long term relationships, and by providing credit where it is needed most.

The Fair Trade movement is the result of thousands of men and women who see the consequences of the imbalance of power between the poorest nations and the richest nations, and feel moved in their hearts to take action to redress this situation.

Fair Trade makes a real difference to the lives of the poorest producers.

FAIRTRADE or Fair Trade?

The Fair Trade movement encompasses has roots in the charitable activities of the Aid Agencies in the 1960s when they recognised that preventing problems was more important than repeatedly donating aid moneys. Fair Trade was for a long time known as "Alternative Trade", and was and still is focused on the social and political issues relating to poverty. A concern for environmental considerations existed in the Fair Trade movement long before global warming became a common phrase.

"Fair Trade" embraces all of the major organisations fighting for Trade Justice including

  • IFAT - The International Fair Trade Association (the only truly global Fair Trade Organisation)
  • FLO - FAirtrade Labelling Organisations, including FLO International and, in UK, the Fairtrade Foundation
  • EFTA - European Fair Trade Organisation
  • NEWS - Network of European World SHops

The Fairtrade labelling organisations have achieved major profile and huge impact by (like Newton) standing on the shoulders of the giants of Fair Trade, and by penetrating the public consciousness with the Fairtrade label.

The success of the Fairtrade label has achieved much growth for farmers via volume sales of labelled products at competitive prices in the supermarkets.

But the Fairtrade label is only one component of Fair Trade, Fair Trade is the overarching movement.

So, is it "Fair Trade City" or "Fairtrade City". Well, both.
Hull was promoting and supporting Fair Trade well before the Fairtrade label was invented, and indeed Traidcraft (born 1979) only developed the ideas, it did not invent them. Fair Trade was being supporteed in Hull 20 years before the phrase "Fairtrade" was invented.
Indeed some would say that Fair Trade started in Hull in 1790s with the election of William Wilberforce to Parliament and the subsequent passing of the bill to abolish the Slave Trade. Thomas Clarkson and Granville Sharpe literally invented many of the campaigning tools still in use today.

Our position is that we respect the Fairtrade Foundation's position and use "Fairtrade" when referring to Fairtrade labelled products and associated campaigning activities. At all other times we reserve the right to apply the wider adjective of "Fair Trade" to our activities in Hull.

We are both a Fairtrade City and a Fair Trade City. Long may it continue.

Definition of Fair Trade

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 Organizations, 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. Fair Trade products are produced and traded in accordance with these principles wherever possible verified by credible, independent assurance systems.

Producers' Viewpoint

  • Every single positive decision to buy Fairtrade produce or Fair Trade products makes a difference.

Fair Trade:

  • Pays the farmer a living wage.
  • Makes a long term commitment to trade enabling the farmers to plan for the future, and to afford schooling for their children.
  • Enables the farmers to keep going, rather than leave the land and go to the city.
  • Enables the farmers or plantation workers to work without pesticides and fertiliser, reducing health problems, and lowering costs
  • Is better for the environment, hand farming is more careful than mechanised farming. (See the report in the recent RSPB magazine, shade grown coffee protects the species.)
  • Is auditable and verifiable, there is nothing to hide.
  • Builds independence, accountability, and skills .
  • Builds a genuine hope for a better future.

Consumers' Viewpoint

Fair Trade:

  • builds independence, accountability, and skills .
  • is auditable and verifiable, there is nothing to hide.