As trade, buying and selling, has become a global enterprise, rich and powerful countries and large corporations have benefited at the expense of smaller companies and workers - especially those in poorer countries.
But companies and governments are increasingly coming under pressure - from consumers, investors, non-governmental organisations and trade unions - to start to reverse this trend.
The ethical and fair trade movements work toward reducing poverty and exploitation through world trade. Fair and ethical trading means ensuring that:
- Workers are paid a living wage
- Working conditions are safe and secure
- There is no forced labour
- There is a right to collective bargaining
- Producers get a fair price for the goods they produce
- There are opportunities for learning, development and investment
- Wherever possible goods are produced locally so as to have minimal impacts on the environment.
For more information about fairtrade see the Fairtrade Foundation website.