Browse Gift Guides
Fair Trade Reflections
Facts about Fair Trade
What is Fair Trade?
An inspiring definition of Fair Trade was agreed in 2001 by key organisations in the Fair Trade movement, including the World Fair Trade Organization, which certifies Fair Trade organisations, and the Fairtrade Labelling Organization, which is responsible for the Fairtrade label.
It reads: ““Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.
Fair Trade organizations have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade. They can be recognised by the WFTO logo.
Fair Trade is more than just trading: it proves that greater justice in world trade is possible. It highlights the need for
change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first.“
What’s the difference between Fair Trade and Fairtrade?
‘Fairtrade’ may be more familiar to UK audiences – it’s the term that can be applied to products that are certified by the Fairtrade Foundation according to international Fairtrade standards. Fairtrade standards are vital – they ensure safe working conditions, good environmental practices, contracts that honour producers’ work, and both a minimum price and a premium, set for each product.
Most Fairtrade products relate to things we eat or drink – from the familiar tea, coffee, bananas and chocolate to the less familiar but well-worth trying dried fruits, pulses, nuts and rice. Fairtrade isn’t just about food, though: there are also Fairtrade standards for flowers, gold, and cotton.
Fairtrade certification applies to products, not to companies.
‘Fair Trade’ (two words, both capitalised) is used for products that come from Fair Trade Organizations, which are certified by the World Fair Trade Organization. These organisations are dedicated to Fair Trade – and everything they produce meets Fair Trade standards. Some of the most familiar to a UK audience would be People Tree and
We also sometimes use Fair Trade to refer to goods that come from organisations that are members of BAFTS, the British Association of Fair Trade Shops. The members of BAFTS distribute and sell these goods because they believe them to be authentically in the spirit of Fair Trade, even if they are not necessarily from organisations that are certified by the WFTO.
What about ‘fair trade’ and ‘fairly traded’? These are terms that don’t have any official meaning, so they are defined simply by the companies that use them.
Feature: Stocking Fillers
Fill the stockings of friends and family with Fair Trade and sustainable holiday presents! Order online via the links for each product, or go to your local Fair Trade shop to find these and other delightful gifts.
Local shops: Fair Trade at St Michael’s (FTSM) and Headington Fair Trade (HFT) in Oxford, Cornerstone (CO) in Grove, Just Trading of Wallingford (JTW), Mustard Seed (MS) in Faringdon, RISC World Shop in Reading (RISC)
Chocolate Tasting Set
The popular Divine Chocolate Tasting Set includes 12 miniature bars of Fairtrade chocolate in 6 flavours – three different dark chocolates; two different milk chocolates; and a creamy white chocolate with strawberries. Scrumptious! The cocoa comes from the Ghanaian Fairtrade cooperative Kuapa Kokoo – who own 40% of the company and benefit from a share in its profits.
Tweed Emily Purse
Earth Squared’s tweed Emily purse is a beautifully crafted, elegant way to carry cards and coins. Lightweight but capacious, it’s lined and trimmed with satin piping and a velvet button. Earth Squared is BAFTS-accredited, and its partners in Vietnam provide women with employment that involves fair wages, good working conditions, and health insurance.
Pencils for the Planet VENT for Change works to combine good design, care for the planet, and support for children’s education. These pencils are elegantly embossed with a gold logo, made from recycled CD cases – and 10% from their sales value goes towards providing free pencils for schools and communities around the world. £3.98. Available from VENT, Traidcraft, JTW, MS & RISC. Pens available from VENT, Traidcraft, FTSM & RISC.
On ‘yer bike
One for your favourite cyclist! This key chain, made by Malawian artisans at Cycle of Good, is formed of steel wire, wrapped with copper wire recycled from old electrical cables. Great for cycle lock or shed keys, or any that you want to keep stylishly safe.
£6. Available from Cycle of Good, Traidcraft
A chunky four-piece jigsaw perfect for learning through play. Little ones can slot puzzle pieces together to create an elephant and baby. BAFTS member Lanka Kade works with partners in Sri Lanka who adhere to Fair Trade principles, including good rates of pay and safe working conditions
A Host of Angels
The Meaningful Chocolate Company brings together the Christmas story and delicious Fairtrade chocolate – a winning combination! These angels are edible Christmas ornaments, and they come with a colour-in poster of the Christmas story. A donation to charity for each item purchased is an added bonus.
£4.50 Available from Meaningful Chocolate Company and MS.
Bamboo has a much lighter environmental impact than cotton – and feels super soft. These socks are made of sustainable bamboo, which is processed into yarn in Rajasthan, India, and made into socks at a factory in a rural district of Tamil Nadu. The supplier, a member of the WFTO, includes staff in decision making, as well as giving both men & women management opportunities.
Jelly Bean Delight
Yes, there is such a thing as a Fairtrade jelly bean! And assortment packs from the Jelly Bean Factory offers a sample of 36 gourmet flavours – everything from Caribbean coconut, cola and candy floss to tangerine, Hawaiian pineapple, pomegranate, and many more. Which will be the favourite ….
O Little Town …
For centuries, artisans in the Holy Land have fashioned beautiful olive wood carvings. This ornament from WFTO member Holy Land Handicrafts depicts the Nativity and comes, appropriately, from Bethlehem. A lovely way to celebrate Christmas and to support craftspeople in maintaining livelihoods and traditions.
£4. 95 Available from Traidcraft Olive wood ornaments are also available from FTSM, MS and RISC