Just do your shopping in fairness. How? The roots of the Fair Trade movement date back to the mid-20th century, when an informal and grassroots initiative in the United States began to support the people of countries that had just ceased to be colonies by buying handicrafts from local artisans and selling them to, for example, parishioners or NGO supporters. The initiative quickly gained popularity in Western European countries as well, and with it, attitudes toward development aid also began to change. Instead of making the poorest countries dependent on humanitarian aid programs, Fair Trade has begun to spread the principle of “trade not aid,” which is trade instead of aid that more effectively supports the development of local entrepreneurship and creates fair conditions for the export of local goods.


In fairness

Over time, the so-called “new” technologies were created. Stores of the World, specialized in selling goods from the global South. In addition to handicrafts, food products also appeared on the shelves. This was an important step, because it is in those areas of the world where prized commodities such as coffee, cocoa, cane sugar, tea, bananas and cotton are produced. Paradoxically, the farmers who work on their crops often live in poverty, and the goal of Fair Trade is to introduce tools so that small-scale producers can earn a decent wage and work in safe conditions.

In Poland, due to historical and economic conditions, Fair Trade began to unravel only in the 21st century. Just as in the early days of the worldwide movement, it started with grassroots actions. In 2009, an informal Fair Trade Coalition was formed on the initiative of more than a dozen NGOs and several companies, from which the foundation was created four years later. In 2015, the Fairtrade Coalition Foundation (now the Fairtrade Poland Foundation) signed a cooperation agreement with Fairtrade International, thus becoming the official representative of Fairtrade – the largest certification system for Fairtrade products.

Shopping in fair style
Check wisely where and what you buy.

How do we know if a product is "fair"?

A certification system helps, and Fairtrade is one of them. Therefore, when shopping, it is worth reading labels. First of all, it’s actually worth thinking for a moment and asking yourself – who made the thing you’re about to put in your shopping cart, where and how. Is it mathematically possible that a cotton T-shirt produced in Bangladesh, for example, costs as much as the label indicates?
Whether we like to shop or not, it is worth the effort to make  thoughtful consumer choices. Let’s try to change our habits, if only in a small way. It matters.



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