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What is Fairtrade?

Dec 18, 2017

With Fairtrade you have the power to change the world. With one simple choice you can get farmers a better deal. That means they can make their own decisions, control their futures and lead the dignified life everyone deserves.

When you buy products from myEcoHub The Eco Yard with the Fairtrade mark, you support farmers and workers as they work to improve their lives and communities. The mark means that ingredients in the product have been produced by small-scale farm organisations or plantations that meet Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards. The standards include protection of workers’ rights and the environment, payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community projects.

Fairtrade works to benefit small-scale farmers and workers, who are amongst the most marginalised groups globally, through trade rather than aid to enable them to maintain their livelihoods and reach their potential.

For certain products, such as coffee, cocoa, cotton and rice, Fairtrade only certifies small-scale farmer organisations. Working through democratic organisations of small-scale farmers, Fairtrade offers rural families the stability of income which enables them to plan for the future.

Fairtrade also certifies plantations (companies that employ large numbers of workers on estates) for some products such as cotton, tea and flowers. Standards for such large-scale production units differ and protect workers’ basic rights, from keeping them safe and healthy, allowing them freedom of association and collective bargaining, to preventing discrimination and ensuring no bonded or illegal child labour. They also require employers to pay wages that progress towards living wage benchmarks. Ensuring decent working conditions and strong worker rights is central to Fairtrade’s work.

In real terms, it means investment in schools, transport, health care, sanitation, an improved environment and better business equipment and practices.

ABOUT FAIRTRADE

Fairtrade Ireland works to promote fair trading practices between Ireland and developing countries. It is a founder member of Fair-trade International, based in Germany the organisation responsible for setting international standards. Fair-trade Ireland also works closely with FLO’s subsidiary, FLO-Cert, which is responsible for checking compliance with these standards by producers and traders.

Fairtrade Ireland is supported by the main international development and human rights organisations in Ireland. These organisations include ActionAid Ireland, Amnesty International, Christian Aid, Comhlámh, Concern, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam Ireland, Trócaire, and by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

Fairtrade Ireland’s work is funded mainly by licence fees paid by companies, based on their sales of Fairtrade products. Fairtrade Ireland does not raise funds from the public. The best way to support Fairtrade is by buying Fairtrade products.

Fairtrade Ireland is a non-profit non-governmental organisation established in 1992 and incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 1994. It was granted charitable status for tax purposes by the Revenue Commissioners on 17 May 1995.

Fair-trade Ireland has three main activities:

  • Fair-trade labelling
  • Education to raise public awareness of Fair-trade
  • Supporting small-scale producers in the developing world to meet international Fair-trade standards.