Fair-trade products, like this coffee being produced in a cooperative in Uganda, recognizes sustainability, fair wages, and safe working conditions among producers of raw materials in the developing world.
Photograph courtesy Coexist Foundation
  • On November 15, 1988, the first fair-trade label, Max Havelaar, was launched in Utrecht, Netherlands. A fair-trade label recognizes the good was produced using fair prices, sustainable farming practices, and safe working conditions, usually in the developing world.
     
    Fair-trade standards are not universal, but generally fall into two categories. The first recognizes democratic decision-making in small farms. The second recognizes fair wages and working conditions in industrial agribusinesses. Fair-trade goods are most often exported to the developed world, but can also be consumed in the region in which they are produced.
     
    Fair-trade goods usually refer to agricultural goods, such as coffee or tea. Coffee farmers in Mexico were among the first to join fair-trade cooperatives. Other producers of raw materials, such as cocoa farmers in Ghana, are also part of the fair-trade movement. Finished goods, such as textiles, can also earn a fair-trade label. Cotton growers and manufacturers from India to Egypt, for instance, are part of fair-trade businesses.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    agribusiness Noun

    the strategy of applying profit-making practices to the operation of farms and ranches.

    business Noun

    sale of goods and services, or a place where such sales take place.

    consume Verb

    to use up.

    cooperative Noun

    business owned and operated by a small group of people for their own benefit. Also called a co-op.

    democratic Adjective

    having to do with a government led by its citizens, who vote for policies and/or representatives.

    developing world Noun

    nations with low per-capita income, little infrastructure, and a small middle class.

    export Verb

    to transport goods to another place for trade.

    fair-trade Adjective

    having to do with sales that support farmers in developing countries and promote sustainable farming practices.

    farm Noun

    land cultivated for crops, livestock, or both.

    good Noun

    object or service that serves a human need or want.

    industrial Adjective

    having to do with factories or mechanical production.

    launch Verb

    to start or instigate.

    manufacture Verb

    to make or produce a good, usually for sale.

    raw material Noun

    matter that needs to be processed into a product to use or sell.

    recognize Verb

    to identify or acknowledge.

    refer Verb

    to direct attention to something.

    region Noun

    any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Regions are the basic units of geography.

    Encyclopedic Entry: region
    sustainable Adjective

    able to be continued at the same rate for a long period of time.

    textile Noun

    cloth or other woven fabric.

    universal Adjective

    used or understood everywhere.

    wage Noun

    money paid to a person for providing goods or services.