Principle 1

Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers

The fight against poverty through fair trade is the central goal of fair trade organizations. The organization supports marginalized small producers, whether they are independent family businesses or associations or cooperatives. It helps them to move from insecure income and poverty to economic independence and ownership. To this end, the organization has a plan of action.

Principle 2

Transparency and accountability

The organization demonstrates transparency in its management and trade relations. It is accountable to all stakeholders and respects the sensitivity and confidentiality of commercial data received. It finds appropriate ways to involve its employees and members as well as producers in decision-making processes. It places particular emphasis on providing relevant information to all its trading partners. Communication channels are good and open at all levels of the trade chain.

Principle 3

Fair trade practices

The organization's actions are aimed at the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small-scale producers and do not maximize profits at their expense. It fulfills its obligations in a responsible, professional and timely manner. Suppliers honor contracts and deliver on time with the desired quality and workmanship.

Fair Trade buyers take into account the financial disadvantage of producers and suppliers of Fair Trade products and ensure that orders are paid upon receipt of documents or as mutually agreed. Upon request, an advance payment of at least 50 percent shall be made, interest-free in the case of handicrafts and at a reasonable interest rate in the case of food products. The interest to be paid by the supplier shall not exceed the cost of credit paid by the buyer to third parties. The charging 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 canceling or rejecting an order. If orders are cancelled for reasons that are not the fault of the producers or suppliers, appropriate compensation must be guaranteed for the work already performed. In the event of delivery problems, suppliers and producers consult with buyers and provide compensation if the quantity and quality delivered does not match that invoiced.

The organization maintains long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of Fair Trade. It maintains close communication with its trading partners. The parties involved in a trading partnership strive to increase their volume of trade with each other, as well as the value and diversity of their product offerings, in order to expand Fair Trade for the benefit of higher incomes for producers. The organization cooperates with other Fair Trade organizations in its country and avoids unfair competition. It does not use designs or patterns of other organizations without their permission.

Fair Trade promotes, protects and recognizes the cultural identity and traditional skills of small-scale producers as expressed in their craft designs, food products and related services.

Principle 4

Fair payment

Fair payment is determined in constant dialogue, in mutual consultation and with the participation of all stakeholders. It ensures fair pay for the producers and is marketable, applying the principle of equal pay for equal work for women and men. The goal is always to pay Local Living Wages (see below). Fair pay includes fair prices, fair wages, and Local Living Wages.

A fair price is freely negotiated in 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 fair, freely negotiated and mutually agreed upon wage that at least provides for the payment of Local Living Wages.

Local Living Wage
A Local Living Wage is a payment that a worker receives for a standard workweek (of no more than 48 hours) that provides her and her family with a dignified standard of living appropriate 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.

Principle 5

No exploitative child labor, no forced labor

The organization and its members respect the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as national/local laws on the employment of children. The organization ensures that there is no forced labor among its employees or those of its members or homeworkers.

Organizations that purchase fair trade products from producer groups directly or through intermediaries ensure that there is no forced labor in production and that the producer complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and national/local laws on the employment of children. Any involvement of children in the production of fair trade products (including learning traditional (art) crafts) must be disclosed and accompanied and must not interfere with the child's well-being, safety, and need for education and leisure.

Principle 6

Commitment to non-discrimination, gender equity & women's economic empowerment and freedom of association

The organization shall not discriminate in hiring, compensation, training, promotion, dismissal or retirement on the basis of origin, caste, religion, impairment, gender, sexual orientation, union affiliation, political affiliation, HIV/AIDS, status or age.

The organization has a clear policy and plan to promote gender equity so that women as well as men have access to raw materials to make their products, and the opportunity to shape their political and institutional environments that affect their circumstances and lives. The organization's internal rules and regulations allow women (in the case of a membership organization) to become active members of the organization on their own behalf and to hold leadership positions within decision-making structures regardless of their status as women (in terms of their ownership of property such as land or property). In the case of women's employment within the organization, they receive equal pay for equal work, even if this is informal employment. The organization fully recognizes women's labor rights and is committed to ensuring that women receive their full and rightful benefits as employees. The organization is considerate of the special health and safety needs of pregnant women and nursing mothers.

The organization respects the right of all employees to form and belong to unions of their choice and to bargain collectively. Where the right to unionize and bargain collectively is restricted by law or the political environment, the organization enables workers to form independent and free associations and bargain freely. The organization ensures that employee representatives are not discriminated against in the workplace.

Principle 7

Ensuring good working conditions

The organization provides a safe and healthy working environment for employees/members and complies with at least national and local laws and ILO conventions on health and safety.

Working hours and conditions for employees/members (and all homeworkers) comply with the requirements of national and local laws and ILO conventions.

Fair trade organizations always pay attention to health and safety conditions in the producer groups from which they buy. They regularly promote awareness of health and safety issues and improve practices in producer groups.

Principle 8

Promotion of education and training

The organization aims to increase the positive impact and development opportunities for marginalized small producers* through Fair Trade.

The organization promotes the knowledge and skills of its own employees or members. Organizations working directly with small producers* develop specific actions to help them improve their management skills, production capacities and access to markets - local/regional/international in Fair Trade and conventional trade - in appropriate ways. Organizations that source fair trade products through fair trade intermediaries in the South encourage them to build their capacity to support the marginalized producer groups with whom they work.

Principle 9

Promotion of Fair Trade

The organization raises awareness regarding the goals of Fair Trade and the need for greater equity in world trade through Fair Trade. It promotes the objectives and activities of Fair Trade within its sphere of action. It provides its customers with information about the organization, its products, and the producer organizations or members that produce or grow the products. Advertising and marketing are done with honest means.

Principle 10

Protection of the environment

Organizations that produce fair trade products strive to maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources that are as local as possible. In production, they use technologies that conserve energy and use renewable energy sources wherever possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They seek to minimize the impact of their waste on the environment. Producers of fairly traded agricultural products minimize environmental impacts by using organic or low-pesticide methods wherever possible.

Buyers and importers of fair trade goods prefer products made from raw materials from sustainably managed sources with the lowest overall environmental impact.

All organizations use recycled or readily degradable packaging materials where available and prefer ocean transportation.