BACKGROUND: QFI’s Ethical Trade Philosophy is “True Fair Trade” and was developed with an open mind based on actual experiences with real people. It eliminates marketing hypes based on emotional appeal and idealism (which is more often than you think, a loop hole to multinational firms). It brings realistic measures from farmers to end users. Certification by an organization is not an iron clad measure of “fair” trade: certifiers in general do not have direct relationship with the farms and normally don’t have actual experience in the products and places on question – simple as that.
For our trading practices, we go beyond the standard measures of fair trade as we believe it is NOT FAIR to eliminate some individuals and small businesses that work hard to bring the product to the end user. With “True Fair Trade”, everybody should be rewarded for what they do. It covers fair treatment from paying fair to empowering them.
Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers - especially in the South.
Fair Trade organizations have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade. They can be recognized by the WFTO logo.
Fair Trade is more than just trading: it proves that greater justice in world trade is possible. It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first. www.wtfo.com
While the above definition is good enough for fair trade in general, there are further issues that we felt that need to be addressed in details. QFI’s Ethical Trade Philosophy was developed simply we need to address further issues that were never covered by commercial practices of Fair Trade certification. This philosophy was summarized in QFI at Work which is the backbone of our True Fair Trade and detailed below: