In recent years, multinational power has grown and this has put pressure on farmers and other producers in the developing world, resulting in falling incomes. This has led to the growth of fairtrade organisations who guarantee farmers and producers a 'fair' price for the goods they produce. This means a price that covers their production costs and allows a surplus that they can reinvest in their business and that can sustain a 'reasonable' standard of living. This creates a degree of stability of prices and allows development to take place at a more measured and consistent pace.
For more information on fairtrade and examples of fairtrade companies, have a look at some of the web resources below:
- The Fairtrade Foundation - this foundation "exists to ensure a better deal for marginalised and disadvantaged third world producers. The Foundation awards a consumer label, the FAIRTRADE Mark, to products which meet internationally recognised standards of fair trade." (Source: Fairtrade Foundation web site). Have a look particularly at the 'About Fairtrade' section.
- Biz/ed CafeDirect business profile - this is a profile of one of the more successful fair-trade coffee and tea producers. The company has grown significantly and in 2004 floated shares to broaden their ownership.
- Day Chocolate Company business profile on Biz/ed - this company started in 1993 in Ghana and has been very successful. It has expanded from 23 village societies to over 40,000 members in over 900 village societies.
- Fair trade and bananas - a Biz/ed review of the banana wars between the EU and the US in the late 1990s and early part of this century.