WORLD FAIR TRADE ORGANIZATION
The fight against poverty through Fair Trade is a central goal of Fair Trade organisations. The organisation supports marginalised small producers, be they independent family businesses or associations or cooperatives. It helps them to move from an insecure income situation and poverty to economic independence and ownership. The organisation has an action plan for this purpose.
The organisation demonstrates transparency in its management and trade relations. It is accountable to all stakeholders and respects the sensitivity and confidentiality of economic data received. It finds appropriate ways to involve its employees, members and producers in decision-making processes. It attaches particular importance to providing all its trading partners with relevant information. Communication channels are good and open at all levels of the trade chain.
The organisation's activities are aimed at the social, economic and ecological well-being of marginalised small producers* and do not maximise profits at their expense. It fulfils its obligations in a responsible, professional and timely manner. The suppliers keep to the contracts and deliver on time in the desired quality and execution.
Fair trade buyers take into account the financial disadvantage of producers and suppliers of fair trade products and ensure that orders are paid on receipt of the documents or as agreed in mutual consultation. On request, an advance payment of at least 50 percent is made, interest-free in the case of crafts and at a reasonable interest rate in the case of food. The interest payable by the supplier may not exceed the cost of credit paid by the buyer to third parties. The calculation of interest is not mandatory.
When Fair Trade suppliers in the South receive an advance payment from a customer, they ensure that this payment reaches the producers or farmers who produce or grow these products.
Buyers consult with suppliers before cancelling or rejecting an order. If orders are cancelled for reasons beyond the control of the producers or suppliers, a reasonable payment must be guaranteed for the work already done. In the event of delivery problems, suppliers and producers consult with the buyers and provide compensation if the quantity and quality delivered does not match the quantity and quality invoiced.
The organisation maintains long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect, which contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. It is in close communication with its trading partners. The parties involved in a trading partnership endeavour to increase the volume of trade between them and the value and diversity of their product range in order to expand Fair Trade for the benefit of a higher income for producers. The organisation cooperates with other Fair Trade organisations in its country and avoids unfair competition. It does not use designs or samples from other organisations without their permission.
Fair Trade promotes, protects and recognises the cultural identity and traditional skills of small producers, which are expressed in their craft designs, food products and related services.
Fair payment is determined in constant dialogue, mutual agreement and with the participation of all parties involved. It ensures fair pay for the producers and is marketable, whereby the principle of equal pay for equal work for women and men is applied. The aim is always to pay Local Living Wages (see below). Fair payment includes fair prices, fair wages and Local Living Wages.
A fair price is freely negotiated in the dialogue between buyer and seller and is based on a transparent price calculation. It includes a fair wage and fair profit. Fair prices mean a fair share of the final price for all participants along the trade chain.
A fair wage is a just, freely negotiated and mutually agreed wage that at least provides for the payment of Local Living Wages.
Local Living Wages
A Local Living Wage is a payment which is paid to a worker for a standard working week (of no more than 48 hours) and which enables her and her family to enjoy a dignified standard of living adapted to the context (location). Elements of a dignified standard of living include food, water, housing, education, medical care, mobility, clothing and other necessities including a sum for contingencies.
The organisation and its members respect the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as national/local laws governing the employment of children. The organisation shall ensure that there is no forced labour among its employees or those of its members or home workers*.
Organisations that buy Fair Trade products from producer groups, either directly or through intermediaries, ensure that no forced labour is used in production and that the producer complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and national/local laws on child employment. Any involvement of children in the production of Fair Trade products (including learning traditional (arts and crafts) must be disclosed and accompanied and must not adversely affect the child's well-being, safety and need for education and leisure.
The organisation shall not discriminate in hiring, compensation, training, promotion, dismissal or retirement on the basis of origin, caste, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/AIDS, status or age.
The organization has a clear policy and plan to promote gender equality so that both women and men have access to raw materials for making their products and the opportunity to shape the political and institutional environment that affects their lives and circumstances. The internal rules of the organisation allow women (in the case of a member organisation) to become active members of the organisation in their own name and, regardless of their status as women (in terms of their participation in ownership such as land or property), to hold leadership positions within the decision-making structures. If women are employed within the organisation, they receive equal pay for equal work, even if it is informal. The organisation fully recognises the labour rights of women and undertakes to ensure that women receive their full and lawful benefits as employees. The organisation takes into account the special health and safety needs of pregnant women and nursing mothers.
The organisation respects the right of all employees to form and belong to trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively. Where the right to form and bargain collectively is restricted by law or by the political environment, the organisation shall allow workers to form independent and free associations and bargain freely. The organisation ensures that employee representatives are not discriminated against in the workplace.
The organisation shall provide a safe and healthy working environment for employees or members and shall at least comply with national and local laws and ILO conventions on health and safety.
The working hours and conditions for employees or members (and all homeworkers*) shall comply with the requirements of national and local laws and ILO conventions.
Fair trade organisations always pay attention to the health and safety conditions in the producer groups from which they buy. They regularly raise awareness of health and safety issues and improve practices in producer groups.
The organisation aims to increase the positive impact and development opportunities for marginalised small producers through Fair Trade.
The organisation promotes the knowledge and skills of its own employees or members. Organisations working directly with small producers develop specific measures to help them improve their management skills, production capacities and access to markets - local/regional/international in Fair Trade and conventional trade - in an appropriate manner. Organisations that purchase Fair Trade products through Fair Trade middlemen in the South help them to build their capacity to support the marginalised producer groups with whom they work.
The organisation raises awareness of the goals of Fair Trade and the need for more justice in world trade through Fair Trade. It advocates the goals and activities of Fair Trade within its sphere of influence. It offers its customers information about the organisation, its products and the producer organisations or members that produce or grow the products. Advertising and marketing are done with honest means.
Organisations that produce Fair Trade products strive to maximise the use of raw materials from sustainably managed and, where possible, local sources. In production, they use technologies that save energy and, wherever possible, use renewable energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They try to minimise the impact of their waste on the environment. Fair Trade agricultural producers minimise the environmental impact by using organic or low pesticide methods wherever possible.
Buyers and importers of Fair Trade goods give preference to products made from raw materials from sustainably managed sources with the lowest overall environmental impact.
All organisations use recycled or easily degradable packaging materials where available and give preference to sea transport.