What is fair trade?

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Fair trade refers to a form of trading between different countries that basically promote goodwill, fairness, and sustainability.  The concept of free trade is directed towards the fair treatment of developing countries especially to the producers or farmers of actual goods.  Under normal trade conditions and agreements, many of the producers of goods are exploited in the sense that they only get paid a minimal amount for their products.  These products can then be sold to other countries for a bigger profit.  Instead of focusing on profit, fair trade agreements between countries also tackle issues that are beneficial to the developing countries that produce the actual goods.  Through fair trade, growers of various agricultural products that are exported around the world are given their fair share of income with other benefits like improved safety in their work environment and better personal and/or family benefits.

Another feature of fair trade is the promotion of sustainability.  Under standard trade agreements, the trading of goods does not necessarily involve having to worry about supply depletion or abuse of natural resources.  Free trade promotes sustainability in terms of responsible use of natural resources in the production of goods.  Various projects may also be implemented to help developing countries explore alternatives during off-peak seasons from some agricultural products for example.  Under fair trade conditions, all involved parts from production to the final selling of goods are taken into consideration.  Aside from the welfare of the growers and producers of goods, the so-called middle-persons like suppliers and transporters are also given their fair share of income and benefits based on the agreement between different parties.

Many fair trade agreements are implemented between developed and developing countries.  Products covered under these agreements include bananas, coffee, cocoa, and wine among many others.  Handicrafts and gold are also part of many free trade practices across different countries around the world.