In our collective travels, The CREO Institute team has met and watched incredibly talented artisans working in a multitude of different countries. Often, these artisans do not receive the type of support they need, financial and other, to maximize their creative talent and utilize it to craft better lives for themselves, their families, and communities. Recognizing a need to support artisans around the world, The CREO Institute aims to promote and become involved in the Fair Trade Movement.
Fair trade is an organized social movement which promotes equitable standards for international labour, environmentalism, and social policy in areas related to the production of Fairtrade labeled and unlabeled goods, which may range from handcrafts to agricultural commodities. The movement focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries.
Fair trade's strategic intent is to deliberately work with marginalized producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency. It also aims at empowering them to become stakeholders in their own organisations and actively play a wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade.
(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_trade - Click on link for additional information)
The Key Principles of Fair Trade
Fair trade advocates generally support the following principles and practices in trading relationships:
1. Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers
Fair trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalized by the conventional trading system.
2. Transparency and accountability
Fair trade involves transparent management and commercial relations to deal fairly and respectfully with trading partners.
3. Capacity building
Fair trade is a means to develop producers' independence. Fair trade relationships provide continuity, during which producers and their marketing organizations can improve their management skills and their access to new markets.
4. Payment of a fair price
A fair price in the regional or local context is one that has been agreed through dialogue and participation. It covers not only the costs of production but enables production which is socially just and environmentally sound. It provides fair pay to the producers and takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fairtraders ensure prompt payment to their partners and, whenever possible, help producers with access to pre-harvest or pre-production financing.
5. Gender equity
Fair trade means that women's work is properly valued and rewarded. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process and are empowered in their organizations.
6. Working conditions
Fair trade means a safe and healthy working environment for producers. The participation of children (if any) does not adversely affect their well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play and conforms to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the law and norms in the local context.
Fair trade actively encourages better environmental practices and the application of responsible methods of production.
Other websites which will provide you with more information on Fair Trade: