Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. Fairtrade offers producers a better deal and improved terms of trade. This allows them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their every day shopping.
When a product carries the Fair Trade mark it means the producers and traders have met Fairtrade standards. The standards are designed to address the imbalance of power in trading relationships, unstable markets and the injustices of conventional trade.
Companies trading Fairtrade products must:
- Pay a price to producers that aims to cover the costs of sustainable production: the Fairtrade Minimum Price.
- Pay an additional sum that producers can invest in development: the Fairtrade Premium. Partially pay in advance, when producers ask for it.
- Sign contracts that allow for long-term planning and sustainable production practices.
These principles, which underly the standards, apply to all small-scale producers certified by Fairtrade.
- Members must be small-scale producers. The majority of the members of the organization must be smallholders who don’t depend on hired workers all the time, but run their farm mainly by using their own and their family’s labour.
- Democracy. Profits should be equally distributed among the producers. All members have a voice and vote in the decision-making process of the organization.
Fair Trade Organisationg & Visits
Handicraft Foundation, Santiago:
A foundation in Santiago that works together with female producers all over Chile to make handicrafts. The foundation was originally set up to support political prisoners in the Pinochet era, though then moved away from political roots and into the Fair Trade world. The manager/founder Winnie is an amazing, passionate and very charismatic lady who shares her stories and history with us.
- Presentation of the organization, Fair Trade in Chile, History of organization, challenges and achievements, and the products.
- Visit to a handcraft store.
- Visit to a house and a workshop in surroundings of Santiago.
- Demonstration of how the producers make their products.
- Drinks & snack together with the producers.
- Making “arpilleras” (Hessian or burlap), coarse woven fabric and patchwork art. The art is used to tell a story and was a characteristic expression of political prisoners in the Pinochet era.
Cooperative of Bee-keepers (Honey & Blueberries), Valdivia:
A cooperative of beekeepers set up and run by Chino, a well known and respected member of the International Fair trade community. He accompanied the President Michelle Bachelet to England in 2010 to meet the Queen. The cooperative´s honey is sold as a raw ingredient in cereal bars for a FT organization in the UK, who are making it a huge seller there. They have now branched out into growing blueberries too, which are also selling very well.
- Presentation of the organization, Fair Trade in Chile, History of organization, challenges and achievements and products.
- Explanation of issues regarding illnesses affecting bees worldwide, and why Chile is benefitting from this global problem.
- Tour of the plant with an explanation of the honey making process, how they now have machinery for quality control, etc.
- Visit to the house of a family of apicultures to see their bees, meet their children who are also training to be apicultures in a cooperative.
- Lunch / snack with the beekeepers.
- Visit / tasting of the blueberries.
Textiles Foundation for Mapuche women, Temuco:
A foundation which works to support Indigenous Mapuche women through making textiles. It is based in a heavily populated Mapuche region of Chile, and through our visit we will learn a lot about the Mapuche culture as well as FT.
- Presentation in “Ruka” (Thatched Mapuche meeting house), where they explain History of organization, challenges and achievements and products.
- Talk about Mapuche culture including dressing up in Mapuche jewelry & clothing, whilst listening to Mapuche music.
- Lunch in the Ruka – an opportunity to try traditional Mapuche foods.
- Open air workshop to teach the traditional way of cleaning, dying and weaving wool (including participation).
- Visit to the shop.
Fair Trade Vineyard, Curicó:
This vineyard was created in 1997 by 17 small-scale farmers. Benefits funded by the Fairtrade premium include healthcare, scholarships for members’ children and an annual holiday for members and their families.
- Presentation of the organization, History of organization, challenges and achievements and products.
- Wine tasting. (for adults only)
- Tour at vineyard with explanation of wine making process and the differences of their organic wines.
- Talk to cooperative members and understand how a sustainable vineyard is developed.
- Lunch outside in a beautiful setting in the vineyard.
This post is also available in: Spanish