What Is a Fair Trade Agreement

Fair trade systems have been criticized. Some suppliers use the relationships established in a fair trade system to autonomously conclude direct selling relationships that they negotiate themselves, while other direct trading systems are initiated by suppliers for reasons of social responsibility similar to fair trade systems. University students have significantly increased their consumption of fair trade products in recent decades. Female students have a more positive attitude than men towards buying fair trade products and feel more morally obligated to do so. It is also reported that women have stronger intentions to buy fair trade products. [67] Producers organize and fight for fair trade certification for a variety of reasons, either through religious ties, or through the desire for social justice, autonomy, political liberalization, or simply because they want to be paid more for their labor efforts and products. Farmers are more likely to identify with organic farming than fair farming methods, as organic farming is a highly visible way in which these farmers differ from their neighbours and actually influence how they operate. They attach great importance to natural cultivation methods. [41] Fair trade farmers also attribute their higher prices paid to the quality of their products rather than fair market prices. [40] Each year, sales of fair trade products increased by almost 30% and amounted to more than US$500 million in 2004.

In the case of coffee, sales in some countries are increasing by almost 50% per year. [83] In 2002, 16,000 tonnes of Fairtrade coffee were purchased by consumers in 17 countries. [83] “Fair trade coffee is currently produced in 24 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.” [83] The 165 FLO associations in Latin America and the Caribbean are based in 14 countries and together export more than 85% of the world`s fair trade coffee. [83] There is a north-south divide between fair trade products with producers in the south and consumers in the north. The divergences between the perspectives of these producers in the South and consumers in the North are often at the root of ethical dilemmas, such as how. B consumer purchasing power may or may not promote the development of the countries of the South. [84] Amid continued growth, “fairtrade product trends have remained strong despite the global economic slowdown. In 2008, global sales of Fairtrade products exceeded $3.5 billion. [85] There are several recognized fair trade certifiers, including Fairtrade International (formerly FLO, Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International), IMO, Make Trade Fair, and Eco-Social. In addition, Fair Trade USA, formerly a licensing agency for the Fairtrade International label, has stepped out of the system and implemented its own fair trade system, which has extended the scope of fair trade to independent smallholder farmers and land for all crops.

In 2008, Fairtrade International certified products worth around €3.4 billion. [6] [7] Many farmers around the world are unaware of the fair trade practices they could use to earn a higher wage. Coffee is one of the most traded products in the world, but the farmers who grow it typically earn less than $2 a day. [41] In the investigation, farmers at the Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Pangoa (CAC Pangoa) in San Martín de Pangoa, Peru, were able to respond positively that they had heard of fair trade, but were unable to give a detailed description of what fair trade is. However, they could identify fair trade based on some of its potential benefits to their community. When asked, farmers said fair trade has had a positive impact on their lives and communities. They also wanted consumers to know that fair trade is important to support their families and cooperatives. [41] In the early 1980s, alternative trade organizations faced major challenges: the novelty of some fair trade products began to decline, demand reached a plateau, and some handicrafts began to appear “tired and old-fashioned” on the market. The decline of arts and crafts market segments has forced fair trade advocates to rethink their business model and goals. In addition, several fair trade advocates during this period expressed concern about the current impact of structural reforms in the agricultural sector on smallholder farmers, as well as the decline in commodity prices. Many of them have come to believe that it is the responsibility of the movement to tackle the problem and take corrective action that can be used in the current crisis of the industry. The Asia Fair Trade Forum aims to increase the skills of fair trade organizations in Asia so that they can be more competitive in the global market.

Garment factories in Asian countries such as China, Burma and Bangladesh have been repeatedly accused of human rights violations, including the use of child labour. [87] These violations are contrary to the principles established by fair trade certifiers. In India, TARA (Trade Alternative Reform Action) projects, established in the 1970s, have increased production capacity, quality standards and market entry for domestic artisans who were previously out of reach due to their lower caste identity. [88] The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh also offers many courses in many different disciplines that implement fair trade learning. They offer a business course with a trip to Peru to visit coffee farmers, an environmental science course that discusses fair trade as a pathway to cleaner food systems, an English course focused on the Earth Charter and the application of Fair Trade principles, and several top-level anthropology courses focused on fair trade. [81] The Fairtrade Foundation does not monitor the share of additional money paid to exporting cooperatives reaching the farmer. Cooperatives incur costs to achieve fair trade standards, and these are incurred throughout production, even if only a small amount is sold at fair prices. The most successful co-operatives seem to spend a third of the extra price they receive: some less successful co-operatives spend more than they earn. Although this seems to have been accepted by fair trade advocates and critics,[160] there is a lack of economic studies describing actual incomes and what the money was spent on. FLO[161] figures indicate that 40% of the money that reaches developing countries is spent on “business and production”, which would include these costs as well as the costs incurred by inefficiency and corruption in the cooperative or marketing system.

The rest must be devoted to social projects instead of being passed on to farmers. African exports come from countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. These exports are estimated at $24 million. [86] Between 2004 and 2006, Africa rapidly increased its number of FLO-certified producer groups from 78 to 171, nearly half of which are based in Kenya; Tanzania and South Africa are following closely. [86] The FLO products for which Africa is known are tea, cocoa, flowers and wine. [86] In Africa, there are cooperatives and smallholder plantations that produce fair trade certified tea. [86] Cocoa-producing countries in West Africa often form cooperatives that produce fair trade cocoa, such as Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana. [87] West African countries that do not have a strong fair trade industry are subject to a deterioration in cocoa quality as they compete with other countries for profit. These countries include Cameroon, Nigeria and Côte d`Ivoire. [88] In 1994, the European Commission developed the “Alternative Trade Memo”, in which it expressed its support for strengthening fair trade in the South and North and its intention to establish an EC working group on fair trade.

In addition, in the same year, the European Parliament adopted the “Resolution on the Promotion of Fairness and Solidarity in North-South Trade” (OJ No C 44 of 14 February 1994), a resolution in which it expressed its support for fair trade. In 1996, the Economic and Social Committee adopted an “Opinion on the European Fair Trade Labelling Movement”. A year later, in 1997, the document was followed by a resolution adopted by the European Parliament calling on the European Commission to support fair trade banana operators. .

Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on What Is a Fair Trade Agreement

Comments are closed.