If you are concerned about the ethical and environmental impact of trade, support the fair trade movement, which works to ensure that producers in the developing world get better prices for their produce, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their lot and have more control over their lives. More information can be found on the Fairtrade Foundation’s website.
The Fairtrade Foundation promotes fairtrade and products bearing the Fairtrade label in the UK. Their website includes lists of products bearing the Fairtrade mark, such as tea and coffee, fresh fruit, honey, herbs and spices and even flowers and footballs. There is also a directory of local Fairtrade groups in the UK. Local groups promote fairtrade in their area, get involved with Fairtrade Fortnight and may be able to provide information on retailers of fair trade goods in their area.
The Fairtrade Label is a guarantee that the products bearing it conform to Fairtrade Standards and contributes to the development of disadvantaged producers and workers. It is administered by Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO).
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is an alliance of companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and trade union organisations.They exist to promote and improve the implementation of corporate codes of practice which cover supply chain working conditions. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that the working conditions of workers producing for the UK market meet or exceed international labour standards.
IFAT, the International Federation for Alternative Trade, is the global network of fair trade organisations. Its mission is to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting fair trade organisations, and speaking out for greater justice in world trade. They administer the Fair Trade Organisation mark, which means standards are being met regarding working conditions, wages, child labour and the environment. These standards are verified by self-assessment, mutual reviews and external verification. It demonstrates that an organisation’s trading activity is sustainable and committed to continual improvement.
Shared Interest is a co-operative lending society that aims to reduce poverty in the world, by providing fair and just financial services. It uses the pooled savings of its members to facilitate fair trade. They work with fair trade businesses all over the world, both producers and buyers, providing credit to enable producers to be paid in advance and to help fair trade develop.
The Trade Justice Movement is a group of organisations including trade unions, aid agencies, environment and human rights campaigns, fairtrade organisations, faith and consumer groups. They campaign for trade justice, for fundamental changes to the unjust rules and institutions governing international trade, so that trade is made to work for all, with the rules weighted to benefit poor people and the environment.