WHAT IS FAIR TRADE?
In 1969 the first Fair Trade shop opened in Brenkelen (Holland), and two years later there were already 120 shops in the whole country.
Fair Trade buys from small Third World producers, paying 10-15% above regular world market prices, and sells these products in Solidarity Shops in rich countries. It also guarantees the producers a long-term commercial relationship. In order to maintain this the producers must comply with certain criteria:
Decent salaries and working times, without discriminating between men and women.
No exploitation of children: under-16s must be in school, and if they work after school hours this must be under decent conditions of salary and timetable.
Respect for the environment: organic farming, crop rotation and natural methods for fighting pests.
Community development: they are obliged to reinvest a part of their salary in the maintenance and improvement of the infrastructures of their community. .
In short, the aim of Fair Trade is to serve as a cooperation tool, in order to contribute to eradicating poverty in developing countries, and to help impoverished populations to escape their dependence and exploitation.
The European countries that are most aware and active in this area are Holland, England, Switzerland and Italy.
Solidarity Shops work mainly thanks to volunteers.
Erika Goddard is in charge of Fair Trade in Ibiza, and works in the Solidarity Shop which the Deixalles Foundation opened to the public almost four years ago, right opposite the Consell Insular in Ibiza Town. Here we can find vegetables, rice, coffee, pasta, biscuits, cocoa, chocolate, drinks, ceramics, clothes, handbags, gifts, ornaments, cosmetics, soaps, etc.. Fair Trade guarantees the source of all these products.