World Fair Trade Day was created by the World Fair Trade Organization. This year the holiday falls on May 11th. It’s a worldwide festival of events designed to celebrate Fair Trade and to bring awareness to the concept of Fair Trade and its global benefits.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade is a compilation of practices or principals that businesses must carry out in order to qualify as a Fair Trade organization. These principles are designed to ensure that companies and organizations treat their employees fairly. The policies protect the vulnerable populations including the poor, women, and children.
The WFTO has identified 10 principles. They include:
- Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
- Transparency and Accountability
- Fair Trading Practices
- Payment of a Fair Price
- Ensuring no Child Labor or Forced Labor
- Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association
- Ensuring Good Working Conditions
- Providing Capacity Building
- Promoting Fair Trade
- Respect for the Environment
Celebrating World Fair Trade Day
This year, you can find an organized Fair Trade celebration in just about every country around the world. For example, in the United States you’ll be able to find many retailers that give discounts on Fair Trade products and conduct in-store celebrations to bring awareness to the holiday.
In Europe there are country-wide celebrations that include live music, food, and more. In Norway, they’re going to try to break the Guinness world record of number of people in a pair of underwear – Fair Trade underwear of course. You can join in on the celebration; they’re meeting in Bislet Stadium.
How You Can Celebrate World Fair Trade Day In Your Home and Community
If you’re interested in learning more about Fair Trade companies and products, or you want to spread the word, there are many ways to get involved. Find out which retailers in your community support Fair Trade products. Download a free poster at WFTO.com and hang it up at work or your community center. When possible buy only Fair Trade products. (You can find suppliers at the WFTO website as well as FreeTradeResource.org.)
Finally, consider donating money and getting involved in the cause. It’s easy to see how Fair Trade benefits us all and it’s easy to support the cause. Buy Fair Trade clothing, soaps and beauty supplies, and food whenever you have the opportunity to make a choice. Your dollars matter, they cast a vote and they help improve the lives of others around the globe.