What is fair trade?

Fair Trade is a way of doing business based on respect and partnership between producers and consumers.

Photo by Becca Flannery

Photo by Becca Flannery

There is a person behind the products we buy everyday.


Fair trade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty and empower others through their everyday shopping.

What should be a standard way of doing business - fair wages, safe working conditions, and ensuring no child labor - is often the exception, not the rule.  In our international trading markets which demand things always cheaper and faster, workers' rights are often diminished in favor of higher profits.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Fair trade is a solution that offers guarantees for marginalized individuals all over the world - including here in the United States.

When farmers and artisans can work on fair trade terms, it allows them to negotiate prices and practices themselves, earning a dignified livelihood and relying on the ability to plan for the future. Fair trade's impacts extend beyond just individuals and even empowers entire communities by increasing education and economic stability. 

By choosing to buy fair trade,  you are choosing to make a difference in the world we live in.


    The World Fair Trade Organization prescribes 10 Principles that Fair Trade Organizations must follow in their day-to-day work:

    1. Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
    2. Transparency and Accountability
    3. Fair Trading Practices
    4. Payment of a Fair Price
    5. Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labor
    6. Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association
    7. Ensuring Good Working Conditions
    8. Providing Capacity Building
    9. Promoting Fair Trade
    10. Respect for the Environment
    75,000,000 people work to make our clothes, and 80% of them are women between the ages of 18 and 24. Fair trade brings humans into the sustainability conversation.”
    — Kestrel Jenkins
    Photo by Becca Flannery

    Photo by Becca Flannery