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Fair Trade, an alternative that attacks the root of the socio-environmental crisis

Fair Trade, an alternative that attacks the root of the socio-environmental crisis

On May 8, World Fair Trade Day is celebrated. The celebration of this day is an initiative of the World Fair Traid Organization (WFTO), which operates in more than 70 countries.

Fair Trade is an alternative form of trade. A commercial exchange relationship based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better commercial conditions and ensuring the rights of marginalized small producers and workers, especially in the South.

Fortunately, Fair Trade has grown exponentially and today it is a truly global movement, with more than a million small producers and workers, who participate through at least 3,000 grassroots organizations and their respective structures in more than 50 countries in the South. Its products are sold in thousands of World Stores or Fair Trade Stores, supermarkets and many other points of sale in the North and, increasingly, in stores in the Southern hemisphere.

But Fair Trade is much more than a commercial exchange. Its existence shows that greater justice in world trade is possible. It lays out what is necessary and possible for a change in the rules and practices of conventional commerce and shows how successful business can be done without the need to exploit people.

Fair Trade shows how central countries could collaborate with the development of third world countries with the political decision to establish ethical and respectful commercial relations, which would favor the sustainable growth of nations and individuals.

Fair trade is closely related to other concepts that we must always bear in mind, such as responsible consumption, food sovereignty, ecological economy, social responsibility or the just city, just to give a few examples.
The principles defended by fair trade are:

Producers are part of cooperatives or voluntary organizations and function democratically.
Free initiative and work, in rejection of subsidies and aid (hence the phrase of fair trade: "Trade, no help").
Rejection of child exploitation.
Equality between men and women.
Work is made with dignity, honoring the human rights.
The price paid to producers allows decent living conditions.
Buyers generally pay in advance to prevent producers from looking for other ways to finance themselves.
Quality and ecological production are valued.
Take care of the environment
A way is sought to avoid intermediaries between producers and consumers.
Consumers are informed about the origin of the product.
The process must be voluntary, both the relationship between producers, distributors and consumers.
Those of us who consider that the root of the socio-environmental crisis that looms over the planet is the financial economic system that governs the decisions of the vast majority of the world's countries, based on an exacerbated and uncontrolled consumerism, who believe in the urgent need to A paradigm shift that reconverts human societies towards a new model, more just and supportive, we find in Fair Trade an important alternative that we must support.

Ricardo Natalichio
director
www.ecoportal.net

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