A Fair Trade World
The Fair Trade Federation
Over the years, fair trade has become of great importance all over the world. The creation of the Fair Trade Federation was a godsend for low-income producers who then had a link to wholesalers and retailers who supported the idea of living wages and a safe and healthy environment for workers in other areas of the world.In addition to being the direct link between the wholesalers/retailers and the producers, the organization also acts as a clearinghouse to educate its members on the importance of fair trade as well as providing them with various resources and networking opportunities.
The International Cooperative
More and more producers can now be assured a living that will allow them to provide for their families, as member countries join together and become partners. This linking of other countries for the common good and for promoting fairly traded goods and services becomes more important as the global economies continue to shift. The economic world looks very different today in 2005 and 2006 than it did even 5 years ago . Many of our neighboring countries have suffered tribulations over the past few years such as the devastating tsunami that hit southeast Asia and left many in India and the surrounding areas homeless and suffering the loss of loved ones This and the hurricanes that hit the southern end of the United States and parts of Texas shows the coming together of countries to support each other in time of need as those with so little give back to those in greater need for the common good of everyone.
As the countries come together to help each other, each country does its own part by promoting the sale of fair trade products. Many of the countries offer things like handmade quilts, crafts, gifts, and other handcrafted items.
One such retailer is Mariposa Indigenous Art in Santa Rosa, California, which sells various accessories crafted by the tribes in Costa Rica and Patriot Imports, Inc. in British Columbia, Canada which sells various hand woven baskets and artwork that were made by women’s co-ops in Africa. Additionally, a consumer may find fair trade wares and other items available from such places as Canton, Shanghai or Bejin China.
The fair trade retailers can also assist in Hong Kong and Dubai where fair trade products can also make a tremendous difference to their economy. All of products being sold in stores, trade fairs, over the Internet, and through mail order catalogs are only going to only the countries more. The prices of these products are set to allow the producers and growers to make a living wage, which in turn will allow them to provide for their families.
Australia, which has not been as active yet is gaining momentum in it’s participation.
Fair Trade in Europe
The European Fair Trade Association (EFTA) includes a network of eleven organizations in nine countries, which import fair trade products from 400 disadvantaged countries including Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The members of EFTA are:
- United Kingdom
In fact, nine countries out of the all of the countries that are part of Europe is rather a sparse number in terms of participation. More need to get involved, and it can easily be promoted in a large city such as Paris or London where tourists and the local population can have the opportunity to go home with a different idea about their buying habits.
Malta, another participant in the community, has the capability of allowing the consumers to see how much of a difference this way of doing business can make. If the future of our international trade is to survive, it’s important to get more countries involved in this movement so that the producers and manufacturers are able to stay in business and continue producing.