The result of the pattern of world trade is that the producers of primary products in developing countries lose out with low wages and poor standards of living. With little money they cannot afford essentials such as primary education for their children and many children are required to work to help the family earn a living.
The choices that people make about what they buy and where they buy it from, has a direct impact on global trade. There are options available to ensure that the goods you buy help to remove inequalities or unfairness - FAIR TRADE.
Fair trade means that producers receive a guaranteed and fair price for their products, regardless of the price on the world market. This means their quality of life should improve, as will the long-term prospects for their children.
Fair trade products sometimes cost a little more in supermarkets in developed countries, but many consumers consider this a small price to pay for the benefits they bring.
Fair trade products are becoming more widespread and include tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate, bananas, wine, honey and even clothing made from fair trade cotton.
Fair trade promotes equality and fair conditions in the production and trade of goods. There are minimum standards and guidance in the pay and conditions of workers. This is also the case for sustainability, the economic, social and environmental impact of production and trade. The Fairtrade Foundation promotes Global Citizenship by supporting producers to improve their living conditions, by guaranteeing a fair minimum price for their product. About five million people benefit from fair trade in 58 countries.
Over 440 companies meet the criteria set by Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International to sell products carrying the FAIRTRADE mark. Many stores have signed up to ethical codes to ensure fair wages for workers. The Co-operative (Co-op) is a chain of supermarkets which has developed its own range of fair trade products. The Co-op's fair trade range totals 260 products and they are continually looking to introduce even more to allow them to increase the growth of the fair trade market in the UK.