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Sustainable Food Guide
Environmental Practice at Work © 2005 Link:EP@W Ltd Web Site


 Differences between Ethical and Fair Trade...

Fair trade differs from ethical trading in it focuses on improving trading relationships rather than labour practices. Fair Trade engages primarily with marginal producers, and aims to establish an alternative trading model - rather than trying to improve conventional international trading relationships.


Helps to reduce poverty by improving labour practices for workers in global supply chains in all products worldwide.

Verifies labour standards in whole supply chains.

Does not require direct consumer awareness and support.

Has no label guaranteeing added 'social value'.

Fair Trade

Primarily concerned with trading relationship and with involving small producers in developing countries.

Ensures producers are paid a fair price covering costs of production, irrespective of fluctuations in commodity prices.

Verifies social standards for specific products.

Passes premium onto consumer and relies on consumer awareness and support.

Has a label guaranteeing added 'social value'.

Trouble Brewing in the Canteen: The Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) was the first union to endorce the Fairtrade Mark. But they are concerned that it is strange if they promote such coffee, when it is processed in non-union factories, when they have good union agreements with multinational companies. "Underpinning this dispute is a clash of cultures and tactics. The labour movement draws on a rich tradition of collective working-class action, whereas the fair-trade movement is more individualistic and middle class". New Statesman TU Guide 2006

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