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About Fair Trade

Global Fair Trade Development

Timeline

1940s
1940

United States began buying needlework from Puerto Rico.

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1950s
1950

Oxfam UK started to sell crafts made by Chinese refuges in Oxfam shops.

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1958
1958

The first formal Fair Trade shop was opened in the US.

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1969
1969

The first “Third World Shop” was opened to sell Fair Trade goods and actively promoting Fair Trade movement.

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1988
1988

The first Fair Trade label, Max Havelaar, was launched in Netherlands, which set a series of Fair Trade standards. Within a year, coffee with the label had a market share of almost three percent.

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1989
1989

World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), formerly the International Fair Trade Association, was set up to strengthen the credibility of Fair Trade organizations and their products.

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1997
1997

Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) was established. FLO is responsible for setting international standards, certifying production and auditing trade.

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2002
2002

FLO launched a new International Fairtrade Certification Mark to improve visibility of the Mark in public.

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2009
Fairtrade-Kit-Kat--008
  • The Fairtrade Foundation and Nestle UK announces that Kit Kat selling in the UK and Ireland would be produced with Fairtrade materials

 

  • Starbucks Shared Planet used Fair Trade products to produce their top-selling cappuccino, latte and mocha

 

 

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2010
2010
  • Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) was renamed to be Fairtrade International

  • Many international brands and producers started to use Fair Trade ingredients, such as Cadbury, Pacific Coffee, Starbucks, Marks & Spencer, Ben & Jerry’s, Green & Black’s, Lush, etc.

  • There were 104 WFTO Fair Trade retailers/wholesalers in Asia – there was only one so far in China: handicrafts made in Yunnan

 

  • For FLO, there were 2 coffee traders and 1 tea trader in Hong Kong, 10 tea traders and producers in mainland China, and 1 coffee trader in Taiwan
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2011
2011
  • Calbury Dairy Milk starts selling Fair Trade Chocolate and become the first brand to sell Fair Trade coca products that are highly beneficial to the local coca producers in west Africa

  • WFTO has 442 members located in 71 countries. It also included 397 member organisations

  • The city Kumumoto in Japan became the first Fair Trade city in the world with more than 45 individual members
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2012
2012
  • Having been established for 25 years, European Fair Trade Association is formed by many European countries and assist local producers to promote Fair Trade products. Many famous brands e.g. Traidcraft, GEPA, Fair Trade Original are closely linked to the ETFA

  • Climate change has led to decline in production of the farmers from the developing countries and also threatened the supply of food and livelihood. The Gold standard has inducted “Fair Trade Principles” into the carbon project and sponsored the farmers of the developing countries in carbon reduction acts e.g. not to use certain fertilizers in farming

  • Hong Kong Fairtrade Foundation has officially become a member of Fairtrade Marketing Organisation and is authorized to oversee and promote the use of Fair Trade Label

  • The 6th Fairtrade Town Conference was hold in Poland. There are at least 1136 Fairtrade Towns in the globe
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2013
2013
  • Fair Trade India has joined to become a member of the Fairtrade Organization (abbreviated as “FMO”) and promotes fair trade within India, focusing on projects that promote the support of local fair trade producers amongst Indian consumers

  • Fair Trade International and International Mining Association launched “Fairtrade Silver and Gold Standards”, signifying the provision of fair trade gold and silver, protecting small scale miners from around the world, providing them with a more ethical and responsible jewelry trading platform to allow more producers to join Fairtrade. Fairtrade Sourcing Program established by [Fair Trade International]: if the producers vow to use a certain percentage of fair trade material, the relevant fair trade symbol may be applied onto promotional material and product packaging. The Program is only applicable to coffee beans, sugar and cotton. Despite the changes in the usage of the fairtrade logo, the level of protection it offers to producers remains unchanged

  • As an association that goes by a membership system, WFTO’s products do not have any logos. In 2013, WFTO launched products with fairtrade logos, allowing consumers to recognize them by their product labels
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2014
2014
  • Fairtrade International researches on the feasibility of Living Wage, and publishes three sets of salary reports and standards of South Africa, Dominican Republic and Malawi. Fairtrade International will continue to research and introduce Living Wage into fair trade standards (Sustainable Production Cost)

  • Ferrero Rocher joins the fair trade system and promises to purchase 20,000 tonnes of fair trade cocoa, benefitting over a thousand cocoa producers in the Ivory Coast region

  • Fairtrade proposal office, along with Germany and French Fairtrade Organization jointly publish a report titled “Who’s got the power?”, pointing out the severely skewed profit distribution in the production chain. For example, four companies produce 90% of the world’s food, and more than half of the supermarkets in Europe are managed by five companies. Trade production and power and severely imbalanced, affecting the choices of consumers and the livelihood of producers
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2015
2015
  • Brazil Fairtrade Organization was officially established on March 25th, striving to establish a local demand and market for fair trade, rebuilding the connection between Brazilian consumers and producers and reducing the reliance on exports. Brazil currently has 40 fair trade organizations

  • Fairtrade International drafts “Standard for Traders”, with the aim to promote transparency and introduce “Best Self Implementation” in order to distinguish and award certain traders that voluntarily exceed the Standard, encouraging them to execute a higher degree of responsibilities. The aforementioned draft involved 400 supporters, including more than a hundred producers and traders. One of the drafts was “preliminary financing”, which used to require traders to provide financing to producers when needed, but was difficult to implement due to the actual circumstances of the producers. The new draft requires traders to provide “financial funding”, which requires that the traders assist producers to receive funding to the producers even if they are unable to provide the funding themselves

  • Taipei has become a fair trade city in June and marks the third city to become a fair trade city after Seoul and Kumamoto. Until June 2015, Taipei has four local fair trade brands, with twelve cafes using fair trade coffee, more than a hundred retailers selling fair trade products, with two hotels using fair trade products and numerous schools supporting fair trade

  • The [Ninth Fairtrade City Conference] was held in July, gathering more than 240 representatives from 20 countries in Bristol. The Conference focuses on the theme of “Fair trade as a source of sustainable development”. The Conference was set in Bristol as Bristol is one of the leading fair trade cities in the world and has become the “Fair Trade City” for more than a decade. The Conference was also publicized in the Caribbean region and Latin America, areas that are predominated by fair trade producers, which will launch the “Fair Trade City” program in the near future
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