We are aware of the fact that working conditions in the conventional factories can be far less than desirable to outright dangerous. Staff working long hours and receiving wages far below acceptable levels and sometimes in unsafe conditions.Fair Trade can be regarded as a holistic approach to empowering workers to enhance their standard of living and treating them fairly, at the same time having a minimum impact on the environment. In order to obtain ‘Fair Trade Certification’ the factories have to undergo a rigorous certification process to pass on 302 criteria in order to be certified as a ‘Fair Trade Factory’. They are routinely audited to ensure that they are continuously following all the rules.
One of the rules ensures that the workers are paid living wages for the area that the factory is located.
Fair Trade organizations have the support of today’s conscious consumer, who is helping to raise the awareness to bring a positive shift in the world. The consumer knows that their purchased product has been ethically produced without the workers being exploited.
Fair Trade ensures an additional financial Premium to workers on every certified item. The Fair Trade Premium is a mechanism to directly improve worker livelihood and enable a journey to a living wage. Examples of the Premium projects are:
- Health and sanitation projects
- Childcare facility
- Bicycles for workers
- Cultural celebrations
- Medical programs or health insurance policies
- Savings accounts & investment schemes
- Coupons for basic household items
- Hot plate and cookware sets
Workers at Fair Trade Certified factories democratically elect their co workers to represent the greater worker voice on a Fair Trade Committee. This Committee meets throughout the year with factory management to discuss issues at the factory. They also conduct worker surveys to identifycommunity needs and propose Premium project ideas. The Fair Trade Committee is responsible for effective management of the Fair Trade Premium fund.