Fair Trade Online Shopping

Introduction.

If you’re the sort of person that buys Fair Trade goods in shops and stores then you’ll almost certainly be interested in buying Fair Trade shopping online too. Buying Fair Trade goods, whether online or offline, is all about being prepared to pay a fair price for the goods you’re buying. This philosophy is really aimed at goods coming from developing countries that are made by workers with low economic statuses; and is one of the ways that global poverty can be fought.

The Fair Trade Organization.

Established in 1959, the logo now familiar to us all was first introduced in 1988. The essence of the Fair Trade organization is a dedication to giving farmers, craft-workers and even companies, in developing countries; access to export markets that ensure a higher proportion of any profits made by buyers or wholesalers is returned directly to the producer of the goods, in order to further develop their trade. Originally the Fair Trade organization worked with farmers in products such as coffee and fruit. However, now it has diversified to include all manner of products and gifts that can be bought online. Finally, don’t think for one minute that the only Fair Trade goods for sale online will all be ‘ethnic’ somehow in design or nature. Today even flowers and alcoholic drinks can be bought under Fair Trade agreements.

Got a social conscience - buy Fair Trade online.

Of course we all want to find the best deals online and keep our costs down in what we spend. However, we also need to appreciate that whilst we as consumers want to get the lowest price - the seller wants to get the highest price. As consumers having that approach is fine whilst it’s the middle-men that we are squeezing. The problem is that as we drive down the price they charge us, they in turn will drive down the price they pay for the goods in the first place. Which is where the idea of Fair Trade for goods from developing economies, comes in. Just to emphasize that point - it’s all about trade with regions that have developing economies, not the middle-men. When a trader buys enters in to a Fair Trade agreement they guarantee a price they will pay the producer in the developing country and in effect agree not to try and drive down their price on future orders. Fair Trade status can also be given to whose manufacturers do not exploit their workers in and from developing economies.

So, are Fair Trade goods are more expensive?

Taking a very simplistic view you could buy a bag of Columbian coffee for say $2, but what if there’s another bag of Columbian coffee on the shelf in the store at $2.50 labeled Fair Trade - which one would you buy? OK, it would be tempting to buy the cheaper one - but in buying the more expensive Fair Trade one you shouldn’t think that you’re just paying more for something that you could buy more cheaply. Buying the Fair Trade product means you’re actually helping someone, with an entirely lower economic status, to develop their ability to produce the product, work under acceptable conditions, become economically stable and, ultimately, rise out of poverty.

Buying Fair Trade goods online.

The simplest way to buy fair trade goods online is to look for ones advertising the Fair Trade label. These are obviously guaranteed to be being traded as Fair Trade goods. Fair Trade goods online are not limited to farming produce such as coffee and fruits. Today they can include such diverse things as jewelry and clothes. The key point is that the trade agreements are fair and the workers haven’t been exploited in their production. An important point to remember about buying goods online is that, particularly for things like mass produced jewelry and clothes, they are often made by workers in appalling conditions in Asian and African countries. You can do a lot to help alleviate both the working conditions and levels of poverty of these people - by searching for Fair trade goods online, rather than necessarily always seeking the cheapest.