Fair Trade

In today's world economy, where profits rule and small-scale producers are left out of the bargaining process, farmers, craft producers, and other workers are often left without resources or hope for their future.

Why Fair Trade is Important

  • Catholic tradition calls for a "society of work, enterprise and participation" which "is not directed against the market, but demands that the market be appropriately controlled by the forces of society and by the state to assure that the basic needs of the whole society are satisfied," according to Pope John Paul II
  • All of economic life needs to recognize the fact that we are all God's children and members of one human family, called to exercise a clear priority for "the least among us."

Fair Trade helps exploited producers escape from this cycle and gives them a way to maintain their traditional lifestyles with dignity. The "Fair Trade Certified" label or the Fair Trade Federation logo on a product can identify Fair Trade products:

  • The Principles of Fair Trade
    • Lborers receive a fair price, a living wage.
    • Forced labor and exploitative child labor is not allowed. Buyers and producers trade under direct long-term relationships
    • Producers have access to financial and technical assistance.
    • Sustainable production techniques are encouraged.
    • Working conditions are healthy and safe.
    • Equal employment opportunities are provided for all.

All aspects of trade and production are open to public accountability

Fair Trade encompasses a range of goods, from agricultural products from the global South like coffee, chocolate, tea, and bananas, to handcrafts like clothing, household items, and decorative arts.

What You Can Do

Continue to learn more about the global economy and plight of many farmers and those in the apparel industry in the US and in other countries.