60 years OF fair TRADE: A BRIEF history OF THE FAIR profession MOVEMENT

Fair trade today
Producers marching in Malawi during the launching that theIFAT organisationalMark in 2006.

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Fair Trade today is a truly worldwide movement. End a million small-scale producers and workers are organized in as many as 3,000 grassroots organisations and also their umbrella structures in end 70 countries in the South. Their commodities are offered in countless World-shops or Fair trade shops, supermarkets and also many various other sales clues in the north and, increasingly, in sales outlets in the southerly hemisphere. The activity is involved in disputes with politics decision-makers in the europe institutions and international fora ~ above making worldwide trade fairer. On peak of that, same Trade has actually made mainstream business much more aware that its social and also environmental responsibility. In short: Fair profession is becoming an ext and more successful.

Where walk it every begin?

There are numerous stories about the background of same Trade.It all started in the united States, where Ten Thousand towns (formerly Self assist Crafts) started buying needlework indigenous Puerto Rico in 1946, and SERRV started to trade with poor communities in the southern in the late 1940s. The very first formal “Fair Trade” shop which offered these and also other items opened up in 1958 in the USA.

The faster traces of Fair trade in Europe day from the so late 1950s as soon as Oxfam UK began to market crafts made by Chinese refugees in Oxfam shops. In 1964, it produced the very first Fair trade Organisation. Parallel campaigns were taking place in the Netherlands and in 1967 the importing organisation, Fair trade Original, was established.

At the same time, netherlands organisations began to market cane sugar v the message “by buying cane street you give human being in poor countries a ar in the sunlight of prosperity”. These groups went top top to market handicrafts from the South, and also in 1969 the very first “Third world Shop” opened. People Shops, or Fair trade shops together they are dubbed in various other parts in the world, have actually played (and tho play) a an essential role in the Fair profession movement. Lock constitute not just points of sales however are also really active in campaigning and awareness-raising.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) and socially encouraged individuals in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America viewed the require for same marketing organisations, i beg your pardon would provide advice, assistance and also support to disadvantaged producers. Many such southerly Fair trade Organisations were established, and also links to be made v the brand-new organisations in the North. These relationships were based on partnership, dialogue, transparency and also respect. The goal was better equity in global trade.

Parallel come this citizens’ movement, the occurring countries to be addressing global political fora such together the 2nd UNCTAD conference (United countries Conference top top Trade and also Development) in Delhi in 1968, to connect the post “Trade not Aid.” This technique put the focus on the facility of equitable trade relationships with the South, rather of seeing the North proper all the benefits and also only returning a small component of these benefits in the type of breakthrough aid.

The growth of Fair trade (or alternative trade together it was called in the at an early stage days) from the late 60s onwards has actually been associated primarily with development trade. It prospered as a solution to poverty and sometimes catastrophe in the South and also focused ~ above the marketing of craft products. Its founders were frequently the large development and also sometimes spiritual agencies in europe countries. This NGOs, working through their counterparts in countries in the South, assisted to develop Southern Fair profession Organisations the organize producers and production, carry out social services to producers, and export to the North. Together the development trade over there was also a branch the solidarity trade. Organization were collection up come import goods from progressive countries in the south that were both politically and also economically marginalised.

Handmade crafts and also food

In the beforehand days of same trading, Fair profession Organisations traded mostly with handicrafts producers, mainly because of their contacts with missionaries. Often, handmade crafts provide supplementary revenue to families. They are of an important importance to families headed by women who have limited employment opportunities. Most Northern Fair trade Organisations concentrated on buying this products and also sold lock through human being Shops. The industry reception the the handmade products in the civilization Shops to be enormous. Human being Shops came to be popular for selling products from developing countries, and also enjoyed upward sales revolve over for many years.

In 1973, fair Trade original in the Netherlands, imported the very first fairly traded coffee from cooperatives of little farmers in Guatemala. Now, more than 30 years later, fair coffee has come to be a concept. Meanwhile, thousands of thousands that coffee farmers have actually benefited from Fair profession in coffee. In Europe, Fair trade coffee came to be a popular choice for countless consumers. Presently, between 25 come 50 % of sales of north Fair profession Organisations comes from this product. After the success of coffee, plenty of fair trade organisations expanded their food range and started marketing commodity assets like tea, cocoa, sugar, wine, fruit juices, nuts, rice and spices. Consumers invited these assets like coffee.

Food products permit Fair trade Organisations to open brand-new markets, such together institutional markets, supermarkets and also bio shops. In addition to these food products, other non food products such as flowers and cotton have actually been included to the Fair trade assortment.

Read background of ptcouncil.netRead the Metamorphosis of same Trade


From the mid 70s, Fair profession Organisations worldwide began to satisfy informally in conferences every pair of years. Through the mid 80s there was a desire to come together an ext formally and also by the finish of the decade two organisations to be established. The european Fair trade Association (EFTA), an association of the 11 largest importing Fair profession organisations in Europe, was created in 1987, and two years later, the people Fair profession Organisation (ptcouncil.net), formerly the global Federation of different Trade (IFAT).

Both trading organization in the south and also the north felt the need to create a an international network for Fair profession Organisations, to act together voice for Fair Trade and also a forum because that the an international Fair trade movement. Thus, in 1989, ptcouncil.net was created in the Netherlands. The members that ptcouncil.net differ greatly. They represent the Fair profession supply chain, from production to sale, and also include assistance organisations together as shared Interest, which provides financial services and also support to produces.

Networking in between Fair trade Organisations is vital to your success. Almost everywhere the world, networks have actually been established. Local networks include the Asia Fair profession Forum (now ptcouncil.net ASIA), Co-operation because that Fair trade in Africa (now ptcouncil.net Africa and also Middle East), the combination Latino Americana de Comercio Justo (now ptcouncil.net Latin America) and also IFAT Europe (now ptcouncil.net Europe). National networks additionally grew prefer Ecota Fair trade Forum in Bangladesh, same Trade team Nepal, connected Partners for Fairer profession Philippines, Fair profession Forum India, Kenya Federation for different Trade (KEFAT), etc.

FLO (Fairtrade International), IFAT (ptcouncil.net), NEWS! and EFTA started to fulfill in 1998 and was well-known by your acronym - FINE. The aim of fine is to allow these networks and their members to cooperate on important locations of work, such as advocacy and also campaigning, standards and also monitoring of fair Trade.

Awareness raising, campaigning and also advocacy

The Fair trade movement pertained to being to raise awareness on trade injustices and imbalances of power in the conventional trade structures, and to advocate alters in policies to favour equitable trade. Revenue points of Fair profession products became one that the efficient methods of campaigning. It to be the Fair trade shops that started including producer story in product packaging to raise awareness on same Trade. People / Fair profession Shops mobilised consumer to get involved in campaigning tasks for more global justice.

The an initial European human being Shops conference took place in 1984. This conference set the start of nearby cooperation in between volunteers functioning in world Shops from everywhere Europe. The Network that European people Shops (NEWS!) was formally created in 1994 and also now represents around 3.000 civilization Shops in close come 20 european countries. NEWS! coordinates European campaigning activities and stimulates the exchange that information and experiences around development that sales and awareness elevating work.

In the course of the years, the Fair profession movement has actually become an ext professional in its awareness-raising and also advocacy work. The produces well-researched documents, attractive project materials and public events. The has also benefited from the facility of European frameworks that help to harmonize and centralise that campaigning and advocacy work. Critical tool to be the facility of the good Advocacy Office in Brussels, which concentrates on influencing the (European) policy-makers. It is supported, managed and also funded by the totality movement, represented in FLO, IFAT(now ptcouncil.net), NEWS and EFTA – therefore its acronym FINE.

Fair Trade and also Fair trade Organisations have actually been recognised repeatedly by europe Institutions and national and regional governments for its contribution to poverty reduction, sustainable advancement and customer awareness-raising. The european Parliament passed several resolutions ~ above Fair profession (in 1994, 1998 and also 2006) and also many europe ministers and prime ministers have publicly endorsed fair Trade. Ever more public institutions are serving Fair profession products and also local authorities incorporate fair and sustainable criteria in your public tenders. Thousands of towns, universities and churches have applied for Fair trade status, committing to promote same Trade and to add to overcoming poverty and also exclusion. Increasingly, to represent from emerging countries promote fair Trade due to the fact that it enables little and marginalized producer in their nations to live and work in dignity. Fair profession is significantly on the agenda that policy makers throughout the world.

Fair profession Enterprises and also Fair profession labelling

In the very first decades, fair Trade products were sold largely by Fair trade Enterprises that had Fair trade as the central ethos guiding their activities. In the seventies and eighties, same Trade products were marketed to consumers greatly in people shops or Fair trade shops.

In the second half of the 1980s, a new way of getting to the broad public was developed. A priest working through smallholder coffee farmer in Mexico and also a collaborator of a netherlands church-based NGO conceived the idea of a Fair trade label. Coffee bought, traded or marketed respecting same Trade conditions would qualify because that a brand that would make it stand out amongst ordinary coffee on save shelves, and would permit not just Fair trade Enterprises, yet any agency to sell Fair trade products. In 1988, the “Max Havelaar” brand was created in The Netherlands. The concept recorded on: within a year, coffee through the label had a sector share of almost three percent.

In the adhering to years, comparable non-profit Fair profession labelling organisations were collection up in various other European countries and in phibìc America. In 1997 their an international association, Fairtrade Labelling international (FLO, now Fairtrade International) was created. Today, Fairtrade worldwide sets worldwide standards for number of Fair trade products. FLO-CERT, an elevation certification and also verification organisation, supplies the Fairtrade criter in certifying production and auditing trade. Products that meet these criter are figured out by the Fairtrade label. Fair trade labelling has helped Fair profession to go into mainstream business. Currently, end two-thirds of same Trade commodities are offered by tendency catering and retailing.

Parallel come the development of labelling for Fair trade products, the worldwide Federartion of alternate Trade (IFAT, currently ptcouncil.net) emerged a monitoring system for Fair trade Enterprises. In bespeak to combine the credibility of this organisations in the direction of political decision-makers, mainstream business and also consumers, the IFAT Fair profession Organisation mark was launched in January 2004. The FTO note is easily accessible to member organisations that fulfill the needs of the IFAT monitoring system and also identifies them as registered Fair profession Organisations.

Members the IFAT felt that the FTO Mark, which can not be supplied as a product label, to be not enough to offer them visibility in the label-conscious market. Complying with the sentiments of its members, IFAT underwent huge changes beginning in 2009.

The worldwide Federation of alternate Trade changed its name to people Fair trade Organization throughout the 2009 Kathmandu yearly General conference (AGM). The same year, the organization spearheaded the an international celebration of human being Fair profession Day. The relocate to rebrand itself was component of the arrangement to make ptcouncil.net among the major global players in same Trade.

It was during the 2011 Mombasa AGM the ptcouncil.net members determined to have a new Fair profession system. Following that decision, the ptcouncil.net board was tasked to kind a Working group to style a mechanism that would certainly pave the means for a product label for Fair profession Enterprises. The group was created of specialists in the field of Fair trade verification and monitoring.

Two years later on at the 2013 Rio AGM, members the ptcouncil.net approved the new Guarantee mechanism (GS) after ~ it to be presented by the functioning group along with reports and also feedback from pilot organisations the were part of the mechanism testing. The GS has five components: boosted membership application procedure, me assessment, peer visit, surveillance audit and also the Fair trade Accountability Watch. The GS uses the ptcouncil.net Fair trade Standard because that organisations, i beg your pardon comprises a set of compliance criteria based upon the 10 principles of same Trade and also International labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.

The GS revolutionised Fair profession verification. It is creative system that can be offered to verify Fair trade compliance the any kind of trading organisations, and also thus not tied to product-specific features. It was emerged to deal with the various varieties of trading organisations at ptcouncil.net, taking into factor to consider that numerous are small fair trade organisations producing a variety of different assets every year, i beg your pardon is dependency on sector demands and trends. Members the successfully finish the GS procedure become guaranteed Members and also are maybe to usage the ptcouncil.net Product label on your products. It is a brand for guaranteed Fair trade Enterprises that have the right to be offered on products as an assurance for buyers and also consumers the the guarantee member has adhered to the Fair trade Standard.

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During its background of end 60 years, Fair trade has developed into a extensive movement. Many thanks to the initiatives of Fair profession Organisations worldwide, Fair profession has gained recognition amongst politicians and mainstream businesses. An ext successes space to be expected, as Fair trade Organisations build into more powerful players and mainstream suppliers become much more and more attuned come the demand for Fair trade in the marketplace. Clock this space as we proceed to write Fair trade history!

This variation of the background of Fair trade was prepared and edited on behalf of ptcouncil.net through the input and also advice the a variety of Fair trade pioneers.