October is Fair Trade Month in the United States: a time to celebrate and raise awareness of the Fair Trade movement. In the words of TransFair USA—the organization to initiate the month—“It’s about letting your friends, family and coworkers know what a big difference Fair Trade makes in the lives of small farmers and farm workers throughout the world.” The Fair World Project defines “Fair Trade” as a comprehensive approach, combining commitments toward economic, social, environmental development and building producer capacity, as well as the related dimensions of education and advocacy for the implementation of trade based development.
Within this one overarching term come many different third-party certifications intending to inform consumers and promote transparency in the supply chain- however, with each certification comes a different set of guidelines. It’s not always clear what these certifications mean just by reading the packaging of the product. That’s in part the reason behind the Fair World Project. They (along with folks from a few key organizations in the Fair Trade movement) recently authored an international guide to Fair Trade labels. To see how specific certificationsstack up, read the full report here: http://fairworldproject.org/resources/certifier-analysis/international-guide/