Scope: Selected Food, Flowers, Cotton, Cosmetic, and Personal Care Ingredients.
Introduction: Fair Trade is a counter-movement to Free Trade economic theory. Fair Trade connects producers and consumers together so that Fair Trade agreements can be met through "arms length bargaining" where a willing seller and a willing buyer agree upon a price that is fair and equitable for both parties. Fair Trade USA, a third-party certifier, states: "The Fair Trade Certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace." The Fair Trade movement addresses a wide range of social issues far beyond the price paid to international farmers and producers.
Basics: The Fair Trade certification ensures that fair labor and wages are upheld throughout the supply chain from grower to consumer. Fair Trade USA is the organization that monitors the manufacturers and distributors in the US while FLO (Fair Trade Labeling Organization) monitors the growers and producers around the world. Cosmetics and personal care products are considered composite products, meaning that they are composed of several processed or semi-processed ingredients, some of which may be certified Fair Trade, and others for which no fair trade standard has been created. Entire composite products may not be certified by Fair Trade USA, however specific ingredients may be certified if they meet all of the Fair Trade criteria. Badger used Fair Trade certified Organic Cocoa Butter, an ingredient associated with many social and economic injustices.
In order to certify a Fair Trade ingredient in a composite product, the following steps must be taken:
Other requirements: Fair Trade USA only requires a 0.2% concentration of Fair Trade ingredients in a composite product in order for that product to bear the ingredient specific Fair Trade USA logo. This minimum is low because Transfair believes that even the smallest percentages of Fair Trade ingredients helps farmers and increases awareness for social and economic issues faced by producers worldwide.
For more information please visit www.fairtradeusa.org
Fair Trade Towns: Many individuals and towns get involved in the Fair Trade movement. You can get involved and make your town a Fair Trade Town. Learn more about national and local campaigns, events, and news at: www.fairtradetownsusa.org