ABOUT FAIR TRADE

* Fair trade is an international movement, which promotes fair living wages to producers in developing countries. Fair Trade is not charity; it is about paying artisans and farmers a fair price for their hard work. The Fair Trade Federation, an organization that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade, lists the following criteria to qualify a producer for membership:  Paying a fair wage in the local context, offering employees opportunities for advancement, providing equal employment opportunities for all people, particularly the most disadvantaged, engaging in environmentally sustainable practices, being open to public accountability, building long-term trade relationships, providing healthy and safe working conditions within the local context, providing financial and technical assistance to producers whenever possible. Fair trade purchases are a win-win situation for everyone. Consumers get beautifully handmade crafts and sustainable produced food items, while artisans and farmers receive steady fair wages and are given opportunities to break the cycle of poverty, put their children through school and maintain their cultural identity and dignity.