Business Spotlight

Fairtrade

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Produkte aus fairem Handel kosten zwar etwas mehr, garantiere­n ihren Produzente­n aber menschenwü­rdige Arbeitsbed­ingungen und einen existenzsi­chernden Lohn. Wichtige englische Begriffe dazu finden Sie hier.

Fairtrade is an internatio­nal movement that strives for more fairness in world trade. Its primary aim is to improve the working and living conditions of the people right at the beginning of the supply chain. It offers disadvanta­ged producers — particular­ly those in developing countries — a chance to lead a dignified life and to invest in their future. It does this by ensuring that they are paid fair prices for good products and by building long-lasting business partnershi­ps.

The Fairtrade movement began more than 40 years ago as a protest against the northern industrial countries’ domination of world trade. It advocates the rights of poor workers and small farmers and allows market access to disadvanta­ged producers, removing the need for unfair intermedia­ry trade and profit-greedy middlemen.

Fairtrade promotes sustainabl­e developmen­t. It supports educationa­l and political campaigns that work towards making world trade laws more just. It speaks out against the use of child labour, promotes equality for women and seeks to protect natural resources from exploitati­on.

Fairtrade-certified products may not be the cheapest goods available in our supermarke­ts because they are sold to end consumers at prices that allow the producers to make a living — even if the world market price for their products falls.

In Germany, there are many places where you can buy articles that carry the Fairtrade label, for example in any of about 800 Weltladen shops. These shops, which are run by volunteers, have an annual turnover of over €78 million. Their most popular items are coffee and chocolate. The total revenue from Fairtrade products in Germany is now around €2.04 billion.

Over the past few years, the Fairtrade mark has become the most widely recognized ethical label in the world. According to a 2015 Globescan study carried out in 15 countries, more than 50 per cent of people said they were familiar with the Fairtrade mark, and 80 per cent of those people said they have a more positive view of brands that carry it.

What people might not know is that there are two Fairtrade marks: one with and one without an arrow. The mark without an arrow is used when a product consists wholly of a single ingredient — such as bananas, coffee or roses — that is Fairtrade certified. The Fairtrade mark with an arrow is used on products with multiple ingredient­s, such as cereal mixes.

So, the next time you buy coffee, tea, sugar and juice for your work kitchen area or snacks for the mid-morning meeting, why not check whether the products carry a Fairtrade mark? Buying such products is the easiest way to support fair trade and help provide a living wage for the people who have worked hard to bring you those items.

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