Fair trade is a growing international movement, ensuring that producers in developing countries engage in trade relationships that are fair. This means a fair price for their goods (one that covers the cost of production and guarantees a sustainable living); long-term contracts which provide real security; and, for many, support to gain the knowledge and skills they need to develop their businesses and sales. Fair trade attempts to remedy some of the injustices propounded by free trade by focusing on trading with poor and marginalized producer groups, helping them develop skills and sustainable livelihoods through trading relationships.
Although international trade has tripled in the last 20 years, the benefits have not been equitably distributed. The United States and Europe account for nearly 50% of world exports although representing only 10 % of the population, while the 48 least developed countries (also home to 10% of the world’s population) have had their share in world exports decline to 0.4% in the last two decades. Trade liberalization, enforced by the WTO, makes it increasingly difficult for small traders to compete in the global market. Although “free trade” claims to be in the interest of increased competition, multi-national companies are often the ones to benefit from subsidies and protections denied to small economies, putting poor and developing countries at a distinct disadvantage.
“Fair” means that producers receive:
- A price for their goods that covers the cost of production and guarantees a sustainable living.
- Long term contracts which provide real security and minimize vulnerability to shifting worldwide markets
- Support to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to further develop businesses and increase sales.
In a fair trade system, workers are paid a living wage in conditions that are safe and secure. Labor is voluntary and workers have a right to collective bargaining. Producers are guaranteed a fair price for the goods they produces, while being given the opportunity to pursue further learning and development. When possible, goods are produced locally so as to have minimal impact on local environments and promote sustainability in the future.
Fair Trade Goods at the WHRI Village Store
World Hunger Relief, Inc. is an organization where all of the work, production, learning and teaching is intended to model the principles of sustainability. Although roughly one-quarter of our income is generated by the sale of items produced on the farm, we are constantly balancing the value of the educational experience with the need to increase income. The Village Store micro-enterprise is a very visible example of that delicate balance.
WHRI is keenly aware that hunger is symptomatic of the larger issues of poverty, oppression and accessibility. Therefore, we also work to address the root causes of hunger by education people in North America about how their lifestyles, choices and spending patterns affect others around the globe. The Village Store, utilizing the principles of fair trade, is our vehicle to help people understand how they can “shop with a conscience” and help others around the world through their purchases.
WHRI is putting together a growing number of informational brochures on Fair Trade and other topic please check these two out on a couple of Fair Trade Products:
Fair Trade in Waco
Weekdays 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturdays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
coffee, tea (loose leaf and bagged), chocolate, cocoa, almonds, cranberries, as well as a variety of kitchen and housewares, clothing, handmade artwork, bags, scarves, jewelry, instruments, etc.
Tuesday-Saturday 7:00 am – 2:00 pm
Monday – Friday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1321 N. 15th (the corner of 15th & Colcord Avenue)
Waco, TX 76707
coffee, kitchen ware, house ware, clothing, handmade artwork, bags, scarves, jewelry
7 days a week
24 hours a day
1301 Wooded Acres Drive
Waco, TX 76710
coffee, tea (loose leaf and bagged), Dr Bronner’s Soap, sugar, molasses, World of Good handcrafts
Monday – Saturday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sundays 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
5900 Bosque Boulevard
Waco, TX 76710
coffee, tea (bagged and liquid concentrate for chai lattes), chocolate chips, vanilla, sugar, Dr Bronner’s Soap
Weekdays 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturdays 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
2625 W. Waco Drive
Waco, TX 76707
Dr Bronner’s Soap, sugar, tea