At The Little Market, our mission is to support fair trade and dignified income opportunities for individuals in marginalized communities all over the world. A core part of our mission is to raise awareness for fair trade practices. Here on Cultural Exchange, we share avenues in which our readers can use their voices and actions to help others. On May 11, we are recognizing and celebrating World Fair Trade Day.
What is fair trade? Keep reading to learn more about this global movement.
1. Fair trade is a form of ethical, environmentally conscious, and sustainable production that focuses on creating economic opportunities for disadvantaged producers. It promotes inclusive practices, safe working conditions, fair pay, and the preservation of traditional techniques.
Fair trade puts people and our planet first, before profits. It prioritizes human rights and equal opportunities.
2. Fair trade has transformed into a global movement, with more than 1 million small-scale workers and producers organized. It is increasing in awareness across the world and reaching more producers and consumers. Fair trade products can be found in every category, from fruits and vegetables to coffee and chocolate to artisanal crafts and clothing to home goods and accessories.
3. The first official World Fair Trade Day was celebrated in May of 2002, although fair trade as a concept dates back to the 1900s.
4. Fair trade not only supports producers, but it prioritizes communities as a whole. When producers are paid fairly, we can invest in communities, development projects, and better healthcare opportunities, to name just a few benefits.
5. Fair trade aligns with several key principles. The Little Market is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation, a nonprofit trade association verifying the practices of and empowering fair trade organizations in North America. As a member of the FTF, we are committed to fair trade principles including, but not limited to, the following:
Creating Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers – We seek out partnerships with artisans and makers in marginalized communities to provide them with access to a larger marketplace and help them rise above poverty. Fair allows small-scale producers to have access to employment opportunities that are essential to their livelihood.
- Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships – We build open, understanding partnerships with like-minded social enterprises.
- Build Capacity – We connect with social enterprises that provide essential resources to producers. These often include healthcare coverage, skill development and training, flexible schedules to balance work and family life, and literacy programs.
- Promote Fair Trade – As a nonprofit, we recognize our responsibility to raise awareness for fair trade, human rights, and gender equality. Through our platforms, we highlight fair trade practices and the person behind every product.
- Pay Promptly and Fairly – We comply with and/or exceed all fair trade standards to ensure artisans are paid upfront and in full.
- Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions – We connect with social enterprises that provide flexible work schedules and supportive work atmospheres so that all artisans and makers feel secure in their environment and confident in their work.
- Ensure the Rights of Children – In our process of thoroughly vetting each social enterprise, we review to ensure they do not employ children.
- Cultivate Environmental Stewardship – We aim to share environmentally conscious goods and promote eco-conscious practices.
- Respect Cultural Identity – We communicate the story behind each product and the person behind it. We showcase the beautiful cultural traditions that are preserved and the history behind these incredible techniques
Thank you for following along with us on Cultural Exchange and helping us advance fair trade around the world!
To learn more about fair trade, visit us here: