The practice of fair trade attempts to reduce the poverty and exploitation of farmers, artisans and workers by creating better wage conditions. Fair trade organisations aim to reform international trade rules and help producers improve their businesses.
Very little of the money that consumers pay for goods goes to the farmers and workers who produce or grow the item. Fair trade shortens the trade chain and determines payments that take into account what the producer's needs are. This creates a living wage for the producer that can more realistically support them and their families.
Fair trade organisations also try to help the farmer or producer by increasing their knowledge about the market and teaching skills that can help them improve their businesses. They help farmers reduce their environmental impact by using sustainable resources, reducing their use of energy and learning organic agricultural practices.
Companies that operate under fair trade practices make commitments to long-term trading partnerships with the producers to create secure, reliable business relationships. Marketing and advocacy is done on the farmer's behalf by the businesses and organisations that devote themselves to fair trade values.
- "A Charter of Fair Trade Principles"; World Fair Trade Organization and Fair Trade Labeling Organizations; January 2009
- The Independent: Independent Appeal - Ecuador's Yellow Revolution