Frequently Asked Questions
What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability.
The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, fresh fruit, chocolate, etc.1
Fair trade is not about charity. It is about offering a hand-up instead of a hand-out.
What are some of the benefits of Fair Trade?
Fair Trade principles and practices help producers in developing countries by providing:
What is the difference between Fair Trade and Free Trade?
In short, Fair Trade benefits people and Free Trade benefits multinational corporations. The two names sound similar and are often confused, but the two ideas are very different.
Free trade is a regulatory approach to trading between nations. Agreements are made that certain goods will not be subject to government interference such as taxes, tariffs, or blockades. The goal of Free trade is to open up Third world countries as potential new markets and sources of cheap labor and resources.
Free trade usually does not include minimum safety, human rights and wage standards, as these are not consistent with the goals of free trade. Fair trade, however, places these issues at its core, insisting on reasonable compensation for workers and reasonable safety, health and human standards of workers.
Who determines Fair Trade standards and guidelines?
Most fair trade import organizations are members of, or certified by one of several national or international federations. These federations coordinate, promote, and facilitate the work of fair trade organizations. The following are some of the largest:
The FLO labeling system is the largest and most widely recognized standard setting and certification body for labeled Fair trade. It regularly inspects and certifies producer organizations in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. However, only products from certain developing countries are eligible for certification, and must be from cooperatives.
In 1998, these four federations created together FINE, an informal association whose goal is to harmonize fair trade standards and guidelines, increase the quality and efficiency of fair trade monitoring systems, and advocate fair trade politically.1
Are you a Non-profit?
No. We like to think of ourselves as a "not just for profit". We do not ask for donations or operate on outside funding of any kind. We hope to be profitable in order to be sustainable so we can continue to support the artisans we represent.
Many businesses are all about profit. We strive to put people over profits and be good stewards with every penny that passes through our hands.
In addition to our daily work for the artisans we represent, our company supports children through Compassion International in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Haiti, Honduras, India, Columbia, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic.
We also work closely with and support two ministries in Uganda that are very close to our heart: Pastors Discipleship Network and Global Hands of Hope.
What is the best way to place an order with you?
Online or by phone, whatever is easiest for you. Orders can be placed through our secure shopping cart. Our payment processing is handled by Pay Pal. You do not have to have a Pay Pal account. All major credit cards are accepted. Paying by check or money order will require your order be placed by phone.
How much will my shipping costs be?
We offer flat rate shipping to any of the 50 United States based on the total amount of your order.
When will you ship my order?
If we have your item in stock, we will try our best to ship it the day you order or the next day depending on the time you place your order.
1From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia-Fair Trade Last visited September 14, 2011