What is Fair Trade and What Makes Food and Clothing Qualify?
by Lee S Enway
Established in 1992 by organisations including CAFOD, Oxfam and Traidcraft, the
Fairtrade Foundation is a labelling initiative which approves products to carry a special
mark, allowing them to be classed as ethically-sourced goods.

Any company that wants to attach a Fairtrade label to one of its products must meet
a set of internationally recognised standards, decided on by a group made up of the
four international fair trade networks.

The idea behind fair trade is a simple one - to guarantee a fair deal for everyone
involved in the supply chain, right down to the lowest paid worker and their
community. Fair trade is about being honest and ethical and not taking advantage of
people, especially those in third world countries who are the most open to
exploitation.

But the idea behind fair trade does not just mean better wages for normally
disadvantaged workers in developing countries, it is about improving people's lives
through ethical trade. The Fairtrade Foundation aims to build trading relationships
based on trust and transparency, justice and fairness. Fair trade is about improving
working conditions, banishing exploitation and reducing the effect the production of
certain goods has on the environment.

Major UK-based brands now have products which adhere to Fairtrade standards,
such as Nestle's Fairtrade KitKats, a company which for a long time has faced
international criticism over its business practices. As demand for ethical goods
increases, along with pressure from consumers, the shelves will continue to fill. As
the word spreads about fair trade clothing, so the range available will increase.


About The Author

Lee S Enway

These days it is simple to find excellent quality, fashionable clothes in many high
street stores and through the internet. So if you're looking to purchase
or perhaps mens or womens Fairtrade clothing
[http://www.wombatclothing.com/category/woms] then head online and find
yourself pleasantly surprised by the wide choice that's now on offer in the UK.
Not that long ago, a small handful of
products carried a sign which marked
them out as Fairtrade. There weren't
many of them, they were hard to
find, and even if you did manage to
find them it was more than likely
wouldn't know what Fairtrade meant.

How things have changed in a short
space of time. Word has spread
about the Fairtrade mark and now an
estimated 4,500 items in the UK
carry it - but what is the history of
the Fairtrade mark, and what effect
has its spread had?
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