There are sets of principles laid out by the World Fair Trade Organisation As fair trade that is to be followed by all fair trade organisations.
These principles are applied to the day-to-day activities carried out by an organisation.
These principles are for any and all organisation, not just those who produce products, but also those that supply materials and transport goods.
For those who are at an economically disadvantaged, this principle gives producers the ability to have some certainty around their income, making them self sufficient and some level of ownership in what they produce.
Transparency and Accountability
An organisation involved in fair trade is to be open and take responsibility for its actions. There should be open lines of communication between all parties.
Fair Trading Practices
The social, environmental and economic well being of the producers are met without bias.
Fair price paid
All parties have agreed the price paid for a product or service. Importantly, the market must sustain the price paid, in other words, the price agreed upon should not be suppressed or inflated.
People are not to be exploited or forced to work. The rules regarding child labour as outlined by the UN convention on the rights of the child should be followed.
Along with not exploiting the workforce, there is to be no discrimination when it comes to hiring, pay,
training, promotion or retirement because of race, gender, religion, caste etc.
A safe and healthy working environment for all workers is to be provided. The employer can even go further by offering dedicated areas for eating, resting and even working out. This may spur people on to exercise which would lead to better physical and mental health.
Building and sharing knowledge
Organisations that works with marginalised producers, help them out by teaching them skills to help not only run their business but also develop their individual skills. Examples of things that can be taught are management skills, budgeting, re investing, finding new markets and so on.
Promotion fair trade
Labelling goods produced as being fair trade can do this.
Using products that can be replaced quickly, for every tree cut down in the making of a product plant two trees, using solar power to run your factories, using as little pesticides as possible. These are all ways to respect and care for the environment.
The imbalance of power relating to the developed world plus the developing nations exactly where consumer goods are made, often results throughout predatory labour procedures.
The goal of fair trade is to generate a trade chain that is sustainable both economically and environmentally. It is not a substitute for political, economic and trade reforms. This is still needed as those who participate in fair trade are doing so voluntarily as it is something they believe in.
We as consumers can do our part by looking for a fair trade symbol on the products we purchase.