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Fairtrade advancing

Fairtrade has evolved into a movement. In 2011 Germans spent 400 million Euro on fairtrade products. Fairtrade began with arts and crafts, coffee and banana's, which were for sale at church bazaars or worldshops. Now it has grown immensely and the consumer can choose between lots of products: from face cream and chocolate to roses. Even travel companies and hotels, even cities are being certified by the social label. Nowadays around 6000 fairtrade products are sold in 25 countries.

There are over 900 fairtrade projects worldwide, of which around 230 in Africa. The principle: the trade between industrial and developing countries should be strengthened, during which the life of small growers and agriculturists should be improved. Fairtrade guarantees minimum prices for the products and premiums that finance kids educations, building schools or the costs of doctors visits.

The idea of 'socially responsible trade' arose in multiple countries. The organisations 'Ten Thousand Villages' and 'Serv International' started 'trading with poor areas in the South' in the US in the 40's. In Great Britain Oxfam started selling the handiwork of Chinese refugees in the 60's. The Dutch foundation S.O.S. imported the first worldwide fairly produced coffee in 1973. The coffee beans came from a Guatemalan association of small growers. Nowadays people can buy fairtrade apples, candles or coffee in around 800 worldshops and 30,000 supermarkets, organic shops and health food stores. But also from around 6,000 action groups and 15,000 gastronomic companies. Two thirds of the fairtrade products now also has the organic certificate.

Publication date: 3/19/2012


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