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The existence of fair trade allows individuals the opportunity to access markets and to obtain prices for their goods that may otherwise be unlikely. Fair trade advantages include protection of rights of workers. Furthermore, fair trade organizations take the responsibility of ensuring that products are produced in a way that protects the environment and future supplies of goods that are currently sold.
The fair trade advantages for participants in under-developed countries may be most obvious. To begin with, fair trade often provides these individuals with opportunities that they would not otherwise have. It can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for producers in emerging markets to obtain access to global markets.
When they are able to gain access, they are commonly at such a disadvantage that they are unable to negotiate a fair price for their goods. Fair trade is advantageous by providing more people with wider opportunities and by helping to ensure that their returns are fair. This situation also benefits consumers by giving them access to products that are often unavailable from their domestic sources and by helping to ensure that the bulk of their money is not unfairly paid to middlemen.
Another of the fair trade advantages for producers is the improved labor conditions that they often experience. In under-developed countries there is commonly a lack of employee protection regulations and even when they do exist, they tend to be laxly enforced. This results in many people around the world working under slave-like conditions. Fair trade helps to combat these situations by ensuring that workers along are treated humanely and justly.
Fair trade products are produced under conditions that reflect concern about the environment. Operations are required to adhere to local and international laws that aim to protect natural resources and the welfare of living creatures. This includes measures such as preventing the pollution of production areas and conducting business in a way that protects threatened species. Sustainability is another major focus for fair trade organizations. These groups make it a priority to ensure that they are not involved in helping to bring products to the marketplace that will provide economic benefits for some while depleting stores so that future generations will be deprived.
Peace of mind should be listed among the fair trade advantages. Without these organizations, consumers would likely be required to inquire about and investigate social injustices themselves, which could be a very difficult task for those who attempt it. By purchasing fair trade products, however, an individual knows that she is getting products that are being sold under circumstances that are beneficial to people and the environment.