Not all fair-trade certification labels are created equal, according to a new report by the Fair World Project (FWP). The report breaks down the various definitions of the most common fair-trade certifications, and the role verification programs play in the global fair trade movement.
“Fairness for Farmers: A Report Assessing the Fair Trade Movement and the Role of Certification,” identifies the fundamental differences between six fair trade product labels. It also emphasizes the importance of purchasing fair-trade certified products to ensure farmer fairness and to combat power imbalances often seen within global supply chains.
Small-scale farmers face many threats including land grabbing, unfair trade agreements, lack of government and technical support, low and volatile prices, uneven wealth distribution, corporate control of the food system, and climate change.
Global trade favors those already in power—businesses, governments, and the largest players at any stage of the supply chain whether large-scale farms, factory owners, or mega-corporations. In conventional supply chains, producers—the bottom of the chain—generally lack negotiating power and small-scale producers are further marginalized within the production sector since they are competing against bigger and better-resourced producers.