Fair Trade Student Organization
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate and flowers.
Fair trade's strategic intent is to work with marginalized producers and workers in order to help them move towards economic self-sufficiency and stability. It also aims to allow them to become greater stakeholders in their own organizations, as well as play a wider role in international trade. Fair trade proponents include a number of international development aid, social, religious and environmental organizations.
In 2008, Fair trade certified sales amounted to approximately $4.08 billion worldwide, a 22% year-to-year increase. While this represents a small fraction of world trade in physical merchandise, fair trade products generally account for 1-20% of all sales in their product categories in Europe and North America. In June 2008, it was estimated that over 7.5 million producers and their families were benefiting from fair trade funded infrastructure, technical assistance and community development projects.
(Fair Trade Resource Network)
- Fair Trade means fair pay and working conditions for farmers and producers. Fair Trade products are made in safe and healthy working conditions, where farmers and producers receive a fair price and have a voice in how their workplace is run.
- Fair Trade is better for the environment. Fair Trade supports sustainable practices that minimize our environmental footprint.
- Fair Trade means high quality goods. Artisans take pride in their work. Crafts are often handmade, which translates into closer attention to detail and in the end higher-quality products.
- Fair Trade means better tasting food. Farmers are involved and invested in the entire production process, and crops are grown and harvested in smaller quantities. As a result, Fair Trade food is fresher and tastier.
- Fair Trade is safe. Fair Trade actively promotes integrated farm management systems that improve soil fertility and preserve valuable ecosystems, and limit the use of harmful agrochemicals that present dangers to farmer's health. That means food that Is safer for you and for the people who grow it.
- Fair Trade supports communities. By working through cooperative structures, Fair Trade artisans and small farmers are able to invest Fair Trade earnings in their communities, improving housing, health care, and schools.
- Fair Trade is trade farmers can count on. Fair Trade is committed to strengthening direct partnerships between buyers and producers. These partnerships provide an avenue for buyers to purchase quality products from people they trust, and offer a sustainable and reliable way for farmers, artisans and their families to improve their livelihood.
- Fair Trade connects you with other cultures. Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Farmers and artisans are involved in the entire process, and Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from.
- Fair Trade means sustainable local economies. Fair Trade gives farmers and artisans control of their own future. They can build their own businesses, rather than working for a middle man, and the profits stay in their communities and go back into their businesses.
- Fair Trade means what you buy matters. By choosing Fair Trade products, you are not only accessing high quality products, you are making a difference in the lives of the people who grow the food you eat and the goods you use.
Join the New Fair Trade Student Organization!
Opportunities for Fair Trade students:
- Participate in the future of International Trade
- Develop the new Fair Trade Student Organization
- Create events to promote local Fair Trade products
- Design programs to bring Fair Trade awareness worldwide
- Travel to conferences and events to support Fair Trade
- Get Internships with International Fair Trade organizations
Where to join:
University of Hawaii at Hilo
Campus Center room #316
Contact: Billy Mason – Fair Trade Coordinator