Fair trade products are various types of goods and services that are created and sold using the concept of fair trade. Typically, fair trade seeks to encourage the production of goods that are considered environmentally friendly and sustainable, provide an equitable wage for those who are involved in the actual production process, and are sold using strategies that keep the use of intermediaries between producer and buyer at a minimum. Fair trade products range from consumables such as coffee all the way through to clothing and building materials.
One of the more common examples of fair trade products has to do with coffee and tea products that are produced and sold under the terms of fair trade principles. Often marketed through the auspices of a cooperative that seeks to ensure that workers who work and harvest the coffee and tea receive equitable compensation for their labors, products of this type may be sold in independent coffee shops, other brick and mortar retailers and even through online stores. The price is usually competitive with other brands of coffee and tea products, but carries the additional benefits of being produced under circumstances that are considered humane and environmentally friendly.
In like manner, clothing is also often produced as part of a line of fair trade products. The clothing is often created using a selection of all natural fibers or may even include the recycling of material harvested from used clothing. As in the case of coffee and tea produced and sold as fair trade goods, the clothing is usually manufactured under conditions that leave a relatively small footprint on the environment and provide a reasonable living wage to people who are engaged in the actual creation of the clothes. The range of clothing that may be produced as fair trade products ranges from shirts, slacks and dresses to accessories such as ties, scarves, shoes, and hats.
The defining characteristic of all fair trade products is a dedication to basic fair trade principles. To this end, the products will be produced using the most natural processes possible while also seeking to make sure that laborers are compensated fairly for their efforts in the production process. At the same time, efforts are made to keep the strategies used to market and sell the products as simplistic as possible, making it easier to avoid expenses that ultimately drive up the cost and also cut into the profits that eventually are returned to the laborers. With the range of fair trade products continuing to grow, it has become increasingly easy for even casual shoppers to choose products produced in this manner and thus support the equitable treatment of laborers all over the world.