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Fair Trade

At The Fair Trader we are proud members of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand. We stock products made by organisations with transparent and deeply held ethical values with goals of poverty alleviation and empowerment.

Our goal is to give the Melbourne, and Australian and New Zealand communities an opportunity to purchase beautiful artisan made products which provide regular and sustained employment for the producers, a wage which enables them to survive and thrive and is an investment into the producer's local community. We wholeheartedly believe in the power of Fair Trade to reduce poverty through the creation of real and sustained opportunities.

Product Sourcing

Products at The Fair Trader are sourced by co-owners and co-founders, Bronwyn and John Newnham.

Most of the products we stock carry certifications including Fairtrade, Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS), Indigenous Art Code, B Corporation, and World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). You can read more about these certifications here.

However in the Fair Trade world, many producers are small, grassroots maker communities. The process of becoming officially Fairtrade Certified can be costly and it is often not financially accessible for these very small organisations. The Fair Trader takes this barrier into consideration when deciding to stock products, and where the Fairtrade Certification is not present, we ensure the supplier incorporates the 10 Principles of Fair Trade into their business practices. 

The 10 Principles of Fair Trade

1. OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISADVANTAGED PRODUCERS

Poverty reduction through trade must form a key part of the organisation's aims. The organisation or business must assist vulnerable producers to move from income insecurity and poverty to economic self-sufficiency and ownership.

2. TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY

The organisation must be transparent in its management and commercial relations.

The organisation finds appropriate, participatory ways to involve employees, members and producers in its decision-making processes.

3. FAIR TRADE PRACTICES

The organisation must have concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalised producers. It is responsible and professional in meeting its commitments in a timely manner. Suppliers respect contracts and deliver products on time and to the desired quality.

4. FAIR PAYMENT

A fair price is one that has been mutually agreed by all through dialogue and participation which provides fair pay to the producers and can also be sustained by the market, taking into account equal pay for men and women and a Local Living Wage.

5. NO CHILD LABOUR. NO FORCED LABOUR

The organisation must adhere to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child, and local law on the employment of children. Any involvement of children in the production of products is disclosed and monitored and does not adversely affect the child's well-being or education.

6. NO DISCRIMINATION. GENDER EQUALITY. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION

The organisation does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement. The organisation has a clear policy and plan to promote gender equality and respects the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively.

7. GOOD WORKING CONDITIONS

The organisation provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees and / or members. It complies, at a minimum, with national and local laws and International Labor Organisation's conventions on health and safety. Fair Trade organisations are aware of the health and safety conditions of their producer groups.

8. CAPACITY BUILDING

The organisation seeks to increase positive developmental impacts for producers through Fair Trade.

Organisations working directly with small producers develop specific activities to help these producers improve their management skills, production capabilities. and access to markets.

9. PROMOTE FAIR TRADE

The organisation raises awareness of the aim of Fair Trade and of the need for greater justice in world trade through Fair Trade. It advocates for the objectives and activities of Fair Trade according to the scope of the organisation.

10. RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Organisations which produce Fair Trade products maximise the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their product ranges, buying locally when possible. They use production technologies that seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible use renewable energy technologies that minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

To learn more about the artisans and ethics behind specific brands, visit our About the Makers page here.

10 Principles of Fair Trade information via the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand.