What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is an alternative to the dominant global merchandizing system. By basing itself on smaller and transparent trade chains, it gives the possibility for small producers to make a decent living from their work and be in charge of their own fortunes.
Fair trade is the pillar to an economy respectful of economical, social, cultural and environmental rights.
" The idea of Fair Trade was born from wanting to
make consumers and producers closer
to minimize the profits taken
Why is it important?
The prices of exported products on the "regular" markets are dictated by multinational corporations in the Agri-food industry which are able to buy in large quantities. For small producers th eprices are too low to cover production costs. As a result only big farms are able to exist at the expense of local populations. Small farmers are forced to abandon their efforts and usually end up living in the slums.
The 10 principles of Fair Trade
Fair Trade in France
Since the beginning of the new century, the fair trade movement has known an ever-growing role in France and in the World. An increase in the volumes of products sold, the diversification in the variety of products being sold, and the multiplication and consolidation of actors testify the movement's importance.
In 2017 the fair trade market saw an increase of 10%, making sales to consumers increase to more than one billion.
Blue: international channels green: French channels
Figure 1: Evolution of products from fair trade sales between 2004 and 2017
Want to know more about fair trade? Go to : https://wfto.com/fair-trade/definition-fair-trade
ECHOPPE and the Fair Trade Movement in France, a common history
Between 1990 and 2003, at the same time as the development of the small loans for women, ECHOPPE supported, through the creation of the store "Artisans du Soleil" (in Lomé, Cotonou, Angers, Paris, Bordeaux), hundres os small caftsmen in Togo, Benin, and Niger to develop their skills and sell their products. Co-founder in 1997 of the french Platform of Fair Trade, ECHOPPE is strongly involved in the promotion of fair trade in France.
2016 has been an exciting year for ECHOPPE. Thanks to those of you who answered our call for funds in our mid-year newsletter, we are in the process of buying the land for our demonstration farm. We should have the paperwork all completed by the end of the year. Our next focus is on procuring a tractor. It won't be fancy or big or even new. Most farmers work on small plots of land of one to three acres. But we need something to help us clear our land to create a central location for farmers to come to share and learn. We hope to have it before planting season. Already the farmers have praised us for what they have learned from the few tiny demonstration plots provided by individuals on which we have worked with them. They tell us that seeing the effects of using cover crops for land conservation and enrichment has been a big surprise. Learning about alternative crops for rotating and renewing the soil have given new avenues of revenue for them also. They have been grateful to learn more about the harmful effects of the pesticides they had been using carelessly. The loans that we continue to provide help them get the planting supplies they need. And it is your support that provides the foundation for our work. Whether you give once a year, monthly, or as you can afford it, we appreciate it. We have been honored in the past to have had a couple designate ECHOPPE as recipient of their cash wedding gifts. We have received memorials. Just a week ago we received word that one family is forgoing their usual exchange of Christmas gifts and will be sending those funds to ECHOPPE. Whatever your manner of giving, we are blessed by it! If you still are undecided about how much good your contribution can do, I am closing with a personal testimonial from one of our givers. He has expressed from the heart why ECHOPPE is important to him and his wife. Perhaps you have not considered some of the benefits that he mentions. Blessings to you and your families as we pass through this holy season. We pray good things happen for all the world in the year 2017.
Board of Directors ECHOPPE, Inc.
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