Ecological hiking trail – Stop 08:
|In today’s world, everyone is involved.
What is fair trade? The idea of fair trade has its roots in the economic relations between the North and the South. Falling profits for producers, rising foreign indebtedness, and the destructive exploitation of resources are characteristic features of many countries in the southern hemisphere. Fair trade is based on partnership and opens new possibilities for disadvantaged producers around the world. These possibilities may include long term trade relations, production and marketing consulting, exclusion of transit trade, higher prices for products, and more transparency.
Fair trade importers purchase food, tools, and other products from producers and distribute them in Germany. The goal is to create a better access to markets and to strengthen the organization of producers. Fair trade is not designed to make profits. Every sale is of great benefit to the producer; profits are used for social and political issues. In addition, fair trade may have an increasing relevance in the future: many import organizations speak out in favor of a change of the rules and practices of conventional world trade. Besides, both social and ambitious ecological objectives are met by fair trade, making it a trailblazer in these fields as well.
All in all, fair trade strengthens the producer by not only covering production costs but also securing an adequate wage due to long-term and reliable trade relations. Furthermore, fair trade supports organically grown products and social projects.
There are over 800 charity shops with products from developing countries in Germany. These non-profit shops constitute the basis of fair trade, selling only fair trade products and working strictly in an honorary capacity. The days when charity shops sold coffee and tea are long gone. Today, you can choose from a variety of food from all over the world, which is often organically grown, and handmade tools and gifts combining high quality work with the native cultural identity.
Irmgard Schrott, Sieglinde Plödt, Friedrich Zeiß