Where it all began
What is fair trade? Where did it start? Who started it and why? Believe it or not, fair trade has been around for a long time. Fair trade is the practice of directly benefiting producers in the developing world by buying straight from them at a guaranteed price. (thefreedictionary.com) Most items that we buy are not made in the U.S, their made in different countries and most of the time the producers are getting ripped off. Talking about fair trade for today isn’t the vocal point of this essay. Let’s go back in time and see how fair trade got started and how it spread throughout the world. The UK started fair trade about 40 years ago, which a movement began to regulate imported products.
As what was said, fair trade began about 40 years ago in the UK but nobody knew about is because fair trade wasn’t a hot topic to talk about. (Fair Trade Foundation) Back then the UK where on to something because they saw how unfairly the producers of the products were being treated and how they were not being paid right. Fair trade may have been around previously but a formal labeling didn’t come out the 1980’s. (Fair trade foundation) The labeling just consists of a little symbol and fair trade is written on the bottom of each object. The label was actually named Max Havelaar who is a fictional Dutch character who opposed the exploitation of coffee pickers in the Dutch colonies. (More Fairly Labeled) Under the Dutch development agency of Solidaridad the first Fair Trade coffee with the Max Havelaar label was brought from Mexico and was sold in Dutch colonies. This started a movement in other countries throughout the world like the U.S., Canada, and Japan. They felt the need to join and use the label because they wanted to make sure that there products went through the Fair trade process the correct way. In 1992 The Fairtrade Foundation was established by CAFOD. (Fair-trade) The vision of The Fairtrade Foundation is of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential. (Fair Trade Foundation) This group is actually the leading authority on Fairtrade. What this specific organization does is to provide independent certification of the trades and they license the use of the FAIRTRADE mark as a guarantee. But in order to get this mark there are specifications, for example small farmers need to produce their own products and need to be independent farmer, working their own land and marketing their produce through a local market. The priorities for these producers include a fair and stable price for their crop, improved and long term market access, and the availability of pre-finance when required. (Fairtrade UK) After this organization was created, the first certified Fairtrade product was Green and Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate made in Belize. (Fair trade) In 1994 the first Fair trade certified product Green & Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate made with cocoa from Belize is, shortly followed by Café direct coffee and Clipper tea. (Fair trade US) This shows the growing popularity of Fair trade and people are becoming more interested about what is going on in third world countries. Then in 1997 the Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International was created in Bonn, Germany. (More Fairly Labeled) The purpose was to unite all the labeling companies under one umbrella and to establish worldwide standards with certification. What this did was strengthen the position of the poor and disadvantaged producers in the developing world, by setting trade standards and creating a framework enabling trade to take place at conditions respecting their interest. This creates a better chance that the producers are going to be treated right and that no forced labor went into creating the...
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