The voices of divisiveness and “me first” seem to be screaming the loudest around the world today. It’s “us” against “them” on every front. Climate change is undeniably building toward global crisis as we speak, and income inequality grows daily. True fair trade is a beacon of hope through the noise for an alternative approach to building a sustainable global community. “Fair trade” is a term tossed around by politicians and marketers with abandon, but true Fair Trade is a whole system based on fairness at every level, with people and planet taking equal billing with profit. At its heart, the fair trade movement is focused on building equitable and sustainable trading partnerships and creating opportunities to alleviate poverty. So exactly what is “fair trade”? The international “Fair Trade Charter,” launched in September 25, 2018, sets out a vision of a world in which justice, equity and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures, business models and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full human potential. According to the Charter, the agreed definition of 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 Organisations have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, 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: A Beacon of Hope By Rikki Quintana 16 |