Where can I find information about Fair trade?
Image: Bag Cacao Fair Trade Food Chocolate Cocoa Sweet by Skitterphoto on pixabay.
Entry last updated: 06/03/19
Fair Trade is a movement that aims for better trading conditions between developing countries and the developed world. It is based on a trading partnership between workers and producers that empowers farmers, guarantees stable prices, sustainability, and better working conditions.
How does it work
The first Fair trade organisations were founded in the 1950s in America. The websites below are about what Fair trade is, its history and working.
Fairtrade International (FLO)
FLO aims to establish uniform fair trade standards for better prices, decent working conditions and local sustainability for farmers and workers in the developing world.It is responsible for the Fairtrade Mark.
- What is Fairtrade? from the home page will take you to The Charter of Fair Trade Principles, Standards, Minimum Prices and Fairtrade Premium which is part of how this system works.
- About will take you to the history of Fairtrade.
- Go to Products that see the list of Fairtrade certified products like bananas, cocoa, coffee and cotton and others.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.
The WFTO is authorised to bring business, consumers and producers of member countries to be governed by the Charter of Fair Trade Principles. It has over 400 members across 70 countries. It has its own product label.
- The tab Fair Trade will take you to the Definition and principles of Fair Trade, Code of Practice and International Fair Trade Charter which is about the workings of Fair Trade.
- Explore the tab Standard & Guarantee System for links to the Fair Trade Model , Fair Trade Standard and Product Label .
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.
Britannica School Secondary is part of the EPIC collection of databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.
- Type 'Fair Trade' into the search box.
- Go to Fair trade (economics) article for history and formation of fair trade.
- Use the Related section to explore more.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
Pros and Cons
There are many advantages and disadvantages of the Fair Trade movement. The websites below will help you understand more about them to help you draw your own conclusions.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context is an EPIC database that gives you many opinions for and against various social issues such as Fair trade — does it really help and what are its disadvantages. You may need a password from your school or local library to access it.
- Type in search words 'Fair Trade' and select Viewpoints and Reference to access a variety of essays.
- The essay Fair Trade is Effective and Rewarding is an example of an advantage.
- The essay Some Large Companies Are Abusing Fair Trade Certification is an example of a disadvantage.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, e.g [topic word]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
This is another EPIC resource that has current information about lots of important issues around the world.
- Keywords 'Fair Trade' will bring up various content types such as viewpoints, references, biographies etc.
- The viewpoint Fair-trade coffee: not worth a hill of beans argues against, whereas the article Fair trade is growing - and working argues in favour of Fair Trade.
Tips: We recommend you use a variety of search words to find more information on a topic.
There are many examples where the fair trade movement affected and changed peoples life. Here are some of their success stories.
Oxfam New Zealand is an independent, non-profit organisation working in the field of poverty and injustice. They also provide assistance during emergencies in times of disaster and conflict.
- Use keywords 'stories' to find a page called Success stories.
- Personal stories likeCoffee: Stirring things up and Cocoa: Best of the best are examples of how Fair Trade has helped people in developing countries.
Tips: This site has .org in its website address. Check the About us link on the website. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.
Guardian News & Media is a British daily newspaper known for its liberal, honest and unbiased journalism. You will find some interesting Fair Trade stories.
- The words 'Fair Trade stories' will bring up stories like How Fairtrade has changed the lives of three producers and On Ghana's cocoa farms, Fairtrade is not yet working for women.
Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.
There are some great books about Fair Trade. Check out your local public or school library to see what they have.
Here are some recommended titles:
- Beyond fair trade : how one small coffee company helped transform a hillside village in Thailand by Mark Pendergrast.
- Chocolate nations : living and dying for cocoa in West Africa by Ryan Orla.
- Fair trade by Jillian Powell.