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Fair Trade Essay

656 words - 3 pages

The principles of Fair Trade have been around much longer than most would anticipate. In 1827 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, slave-derived goods were boycotted. Thomas M’Clintock, a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) founded the “Free Produce Society”. Other movements such as the Free produce movement fought against slavery by emphasizing the honest labor of free men and women (Newman, 2008). The American Free Produce Association began in 1838. This was a group of citizens from many different states who promoted their cause by seeking out non-slave alternatives. They formed distribution channels and published information including their own journal, “Non-Slaveholder”. The movement was unsuccessful because the cost of non-slave goods was higher than others they competed with. Most of these groups disbanded in the late 1840’s and mid 1850’s.
Europe is given some credit for beginning the Fair Trade movement. Due to young, college radicals and a push ...view middle of the document...

Edna began carrying these pieces back to the United States to sell and returned the money directly to the people who had made the item.
In 1958, Edna opened a fair trade shop called Ten Thousand Villages. This shop has now become the largest fair trade retailer in North America.
SERRV International, a non-profit organization, began in 1949. Their mission is to ‘eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide’ (About Us, 2011). An interesting organization, they not only sell fair trade products, they give out grants, teach new skills and even provide prepayments so that fair trade businesses can stay open and continue working.
The Fair Trade Federation began as a small group of entrepreneurs from the United States and Canada. They were a group who cared about the producers of the products they were selling. What started out as a think tank turned into and was formally incorporated in 1994. The World Fair Trade organization is a global network that was founded in 1989. In 2004, they launched a new Mark to help identify Fair Trade Organizations. These organizations are registered with the Fair Trade Federation and help consumers recognize products that are Fair Trade. It also guarantees standards are met regarding wages, environmental actions, working conditions and child labor.
All of these groups came together or were built because they cared deeply about people who were producing these wonderful items but not reaping any of the benefits. Many of these people that have now been helped were slaves.
Because of these organizations, standards have been created for the workers and producers of such products like coffee, chocolate, tea, sugar and even handmade goods.
History, Fair Trade Federation. (2011) Retrieved July 17, 2011 from

Fridell, Gavin (2003). Fair Trade and the International Moral Economy: Within and Against the Market. CERLAC Working Paper Series.
Newman, Richard S. Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers, NYU Press, 2008, p. 266.
About Us, SERRV International . (2006) Retrieved July 15, 2011 from,

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