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Fair trade

Definition:

The concept of fair trade applies in general to trade operations which strengthen the economic position of small-scale producers and landowners in order to ensure that they are not marginalised in the world economy.

It mainly relates to developing countries and, under the present communication, covers two main aspects: · ensuring that producers, including employees, receive a share of the total profit commensurate with their input; · improving social conditions, particularly those of employees in the absence of developed structures for social services and worker representation (trade union representation for instance), etc.; This concept has long-term development in mind. Participation in initiatives on fair trade is voluntary for both sellers and consumers.

It is important to note that the concept of 'fair trade' is not the same as that of 'ethical trade'. 'Ethical trade' usually relates to the operating methods of companies present in the country (codes of conduct, for example).

Source: European commission, communication from the Commission to the Council of 29 November 1999 on 'fair trade' [COM(1999) 619]  

Translation(s):

Español: Commercio justo
Français: Commerce équitable

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