Certified or Direct Fair Trade

Certified Fair Trade products have a mark on their package that shows that a third party has investigated the producer to make sure that they comply with fair trade practices. They are paid for their certification by the farmers for their audit and by the buyer and they receive a percentage of the sales of fair trade products as well.

Pros: Consumers can easily identify fair trade products. The criteria for certification is established when it comes to what percentage of the product has to be fair trade.

Cons: Small farms are left out of the process.

Direct Fair Trade involves a direct relationship between the seller and the farmer. There is no middle organization. The seller determines that the farmer is practicing fair trade principles such as fair treatment of workers and sustainable agriculture. Direct trade sellers claim that more money is returned to the farmer’s communities for medical care, clean water and education.

Pros: No certification fees for farmers who can least afford it. Small farms are included.

Cons: No neutral third party oversight.

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