Fair trade — a term that is touted around a lot — is the practice of paying producers in developing countries a fair price for their goods. In the past, goods bought in developing countries (such as cocoa, tea, coffee, and spices, to name a few) were bought at cheap prices; flown to developed countries; and packaged, branded, and sold to consumers at a whopping price, with buyers making huge profit margins. These exploitative practices followed by certain companies have come to light as the world becomes smaller and smaller, connected as we are through technology and the internet. As more people become conscious of the ethical (or exploitative, as the case may be) practices of companies the world over, it seems natural that more people are switching to the brands of companies that their personal ethics align with.
The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) defines fair trade as: “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 global South.”
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