About Fair Trade
Fair Trade is similar to a normal supply chain model of business. There are producers, importers, processors, retailers and consumers. The difference is the monitoring and certification at the core of the system which guarantees that the supply chain is built on and functions according to standards of fairness, transparency and accountability.
How does Fair Trade work?
Producers and their organizations are monitored and certified by the Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International (FLO). North Roast Coffee works to promote Fair Trade Certified products at the retail and consumer level.
FLO is structured and positioned to support the needs of producers, consumers and licensees, guarantee integrity of the process and promote the principles of Fair Trade Certification. The two organizations also work in tandem to verify and audit the sales from importers to the licensees.
Benefits of Fair Trade
Small-scale Farmers & Workers
Fair Trade Certified products have helped build economic independence and empowerment for certified farmer cooperatives and their members, bringing them economic stability and a higher standard of living. Beyond being paid a fair price for their produce, the Fair Trade Certified premiums help farmers build necessary social infrastructure of which the following are some of the examples:
Improved access to low or no-interest loans
Technical assistance for building infrastructure to improve production
Communications systems, and collectively-owned transport and processing equipment
Better health care and education
Technical training and skill diversification for cooperative members and their families
Fair Trade Certified benefits consumers in the following ways:
- Gives them the option of purchasing according to their principles and values
- Empowers them to be a player in the solution to global trade inequities
- Provides them with products of superior quality
- Assures them of the ethical source of their food and non-food purchases
Fair Trade rewards and encourages farming and production practices that are environmentally sustainable, such as:
- Integrated farm management systems which minimize pollutants, pesticides and herbicides
- Organic agriculture techniques
- Banning the use of most dangerous pesticides