The Fair trade organisation began in the late 1950s, trading handmade craft products, which provided supplementary incomes to low families, and especially female headed families in developing countries. The handcraft items were purchased from the workers, by the fair trade organisation and sold through the World Shops at a minimum price. Later in 1973 fair trade expanded it’s trade market into food, specifically coffee, and today includes a wide range of goods, spread across 76 countries, all sold at a minimum price.
The system is monitored by an independent certification body, Flo-Cert which ensures the standards of fair trade are being upheld by all members. The producers uphold their part of the agreement by producing goods as sustainably as they can, and the businesses ensure that the products are sold at a price that guarantees that the farmer gets a fair price for their products, and their works are being correctly paid for their services.
In addition, fair trade is a direct response to poverty, and disasters that have occurred in developing countries around the world. The later required fair marketing organisations that would provide advice, assistance and support to the disadvantaged farmers/producers, and therefore create an equitable trade relation between the North and South. Ultimately, the goal of fair trade, is through the daily activity of shopping to continuously make small changes to our buying habits that will have a directly positive affect on the lives of people around the world; displaying the power we all have in creating a better world for everyone.