Why is Fairtrade so important?
7 March 2014
Fairtrade fortnight (24th Feb- 7th March 2014) is an international fortnight of action designed to promote the importance of Fairtrade globally.
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
The Fairtrade Foundations vision is of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.
Fairtrade certification aims to address the triple bottom line.
- Buyers are required to pay a stable Fairtrade minimum price calculated to cover the costs of sustainable production
- Buyers are required to pay a Fairtrade premium to producer organisations for producer organisations to make livelihood investments and to improve the situation of local communities
- Opportunity for pre-financing
- Contracts that allow long-term planning
- Increased access to export markets
For small farmers, FLO standards require:
- A non-discriminatory, democratic organisational structure that enables farmers to bring a product to the market
- The organisation must be set up in a transparent way
- It must not discriminate against any particular member or social group.
For hired labour, FLO standards require:
- The company involved to bring social rights and security to its workers
- Training opportunities
- Non-discriminatory employment practices
- No child or forced labour
- Access to collective bargaining processes
- Freedom of association
- Conditions of employment exceeding legal minimum requirements
- Adequate occupational safety and health conditions
- Sufficient facilities for the workforce to manage the Fairtrade premium
- Fairtrade requires minimised and safe use of agrochemicals
- Proper and safe management of waste
- Maintenance of soil fertility and water resources
- Prohibits use of genetically modified organisms
- Requires organisations to assess their environmental impact and develop plans to mitigate it.
QML is a Fairtrade University and we have committed to selling Fairtrade products, promoting the importance of Fairtrade and supporting the Fairtrade Foundations vision. To find out more about Fairtrade at QML visit the website or follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.