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What is Fair Trade?

Fair trade is a consumer-driven movement that promotes fair wages and safe working conditions for farmers and artisans in developing nations. This practice empowers communities around the world and gives them the tools to grow and thrive.

Fair trade is a movement that developed in Europe in the 1960s, created to support the work of cooperatives and community enterprises in the developing world.

FINE, an informal association comprised of the four main fair trade networks, defines fair trade as a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade.

Fair trade is also:

  • A social justice movement
  • A system of global commerce
  • An alternative business model
  • A faith-based activity
  • A tool for international development

Fair trade principles:

  • Offer better prices and working conditions to farmers, workers and artisans globally
  • Empower communities through access to information and markets
  • Improve health and education of workers, their families and the environment
  • Achieved through a consumer-driven movement

Why is Manhattan College involved?

The mission statement of the College outlines the respect for individual dignity and commitment to social justice inherent in the foundations of the College. Therefore, it is Manhattan’s duty as a Lasallian Catholic institution to support the growth of fair trade, and in turn, help the growth of social justice in the world.

By supporting fair trade, Manhattan College is helping workers secure:

  • Better working conditions
  • A living wage
  • More education
  • Better healthcare for families
  • Sustainable production