Fair trade is an institutional arrangement designed to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions. Members of the fair trade movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards.
The movement focuses in particular on commodities, or products which are typically exported from developing countries, but also consumed in domestic markets (e.g. Brazil, India and Bangladesh) most notably handcrafted, coffee, cocoa, wine, sugar, fresh fruit, chocolate, flowers and gold.
Fair trade organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting these artisans, awareness, and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.
The nature of fair trade makes it a global phenomenon, therefore, there are diverse motives for understanding group formation related to fair trade. The social transformation caused by the fair trade movement also varies around the world.
Some producers & artisans also profit from the indirect benefits of fair trade practices. Fair trade cooperatives create a space of solidarity and promote an entrepreneurial spirit. When growers and artisans feel like they have control over their own lives within the network of their cooperative, it can be very empowering.
Operating a profitable business allows these growers and artisans to think about their future, rather than worrying about how they are going to survive in poverty.