Fair trade is an organized social movement that aims to help producers in developing countries to make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. It advocates the payment of a higher price to exporters as well as higher social and environmental standards, and certifies products that are produced under fair conditions, in order to encourage greater equity in international trade.
It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate, flowers, and gold. Fair Trade Organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.
There are several recognized Fairtrade certifiers, including Fairtrade International (formerly called FLO/Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International), IMO and Eco-Social. Additionally, Fair Trade USA, formerly a licensing agency for the Fairtrade International label, broke from the system and is implementing its own fair trade labeling scheme, which has resulted in controversy due to its inclusion of independent smallholders and estates for all crops.
Fair Trade Judaica
Fair Trade Judaica (FTJ) is a California-based non-profit that promotes fair trade as a Jewish value through educating the Jewish community and expanding the production, distribution, and sale of fair trade Judaica products.
FTJ’s Long Term Vision
We envision a world in which Jewish consumers recognize fair trade as an expression of core Jewish values, seek out fair trade Judaica products, and use their purchasing power to support thriving communities of artisans around the world.
FYJ’s Work Is Guided by These Values:
- Tzedakah: Supporting artisans, their families and communities to become self-sufficient.
- Tikkun Olam: Using our power as Jewish consumers to create a more just trade system.
- Community: Creating a FTJ movement in the Jewish community, and building connections between consumers and artisans in support of fair trade.
- Integrity: Expressing transparency as an organization and treating producers with respect.
Click here for some Jewish sources that support the principles of fair trade.
Key Strategies of Our Work:
- Provide education and outreach about Fair Trade Judaica to build a Jewish fair trade movement.
- Support fair trade artisans by providing technical assistance in the design of new Judaica products and creating market demand for their products.
- Link artisans, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers, thus making fair trade Judaica products more available and accessible.
How to Get Involved:
- Become an Advocate – Talk with your local Judaica or synagogue store and encourage them to sell fair trade products. Fair Trade Judaica is happy to give them ideas; send us an e-mail with their contact information.
- Fair Trade your Jewish Holidays – Click here for ideas on how to integrate fair trade into Jewish holidays.
- Fair Trade your Shul/Jewish Organization – Click here for ideas on how to integrate fair trade into Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, and synagogue life.
- Fundraise using fair trade products.
- Volunteer and make a difference.
- Travel with Fair Trade Judaica to visit artisan communities around the world.
- Let us know if you find other fair trade Judaica products, or have ideas for ones you’d like to see developed.