WFTO Fair Trade Principle 1: Opportunities for Disadvantaged Producers
Poverty reduction through trade must form a key part of the organisation's aims. The organisation or business must assist vulnerable producers to move from income insecurity and poverty to economic self-sufficiency and ownership.
How do Fair Trade businesses support disadvantaged producers?
Most Fair Trade businesses in Australia and other wealthy countries, support disadvantaged producers in developing countries by providing access to market. So how does this work?
Imagine you are living in Kampala, Uganda. Your main skill is the ability to make high quality baskets. You know that these are sought after from the tourists that you see in the local market from time to time, but you have no way to sell your product beyond your small local market.
Your local market is visited by a woman from the UK, who is running a Fair Trade business. This Fair Trade business then begins working with you, organising to buy your baskets and sell them in the UK. This provides you, the basket maker, with a new reliable revenue stream, enabling you to further develop your business.
In addition, as a Fair Trade business owner, the women from the UK has guidance and advice from the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), to help her understand what a fair price is for the baskets you are providing. So, rather than being negotiated down to the lowest price possible, you agree on a fair price for the work you are doing. This in turn means you can focus on providing good quality products and ensures you can comfortably support your family.
The UK based business works with you as you develop your business, to ensure your product is suitable for her market, and to help you implement the other principles of Fair Trade in your business.
I’m sure you can picture the larger flow on effects from this. If you are able to comfortably support your family, that means your children don’t have to work and can attend school. It also builds the business skills of the Ugandan basket maker, ensuring that if the UK business can no longer buy from them, they have the skills and knowledge to find other buyers. Less pressure on the Ugandan family means they are less vulnerable to human trafficking threats.
The Fair Trade model has proven that providing economic self-sufficiency has significant direct impact on reducing poverty.
All of the Good Things Supports Fair Trade
Our philosophy is first and foremost, to do no harm to people or the planet. Then we choose to do what we can to have a positive impact. That’s when we get the really good feels. Then we know we are nudging the dial towards a world full of optimism, joy and fun for everyone.
Our first choice is to source from Fair Trade suppliers wherever possible.