Fair trade – a look back
The first store with that name opened in Jacksonville, FL in 1969. The remains of the same name. Then started the Solidarity trade and trade-front shops and import.. These two were especially focused on trade with China and North Vietnam. The trade would be an alternative to the established trading companies and multinational companies and provide an opportunity for countries of the South, or developing countries, as they said then, getting a market. Several of the early initiatives originated in development aid or missionary organizations or individual employees in these. You saw what it meant for people in development projects that have a market for it produced.
Another view was criticism of the established trade structures meant that trade took place on the rich countries’ conditions. The developing countries were the constant losers. The remaining suppliers of raw materials and the profitable processing is done in the developed world. It was therefore important in the alternative trading of goods processed in developing countries. Tea and coffee should be packed in place. This made it a long time was only one type of coffee from Tanzania, and eventually from Nicaragua in stores.
The unfair trade relations in values was one of the issues the churches raised in their annual U-weeks that started in 1973. The sale of goods from developing countries came to be a means to bring issues of unfair trade. It also provided an opportunity for engaged people to feel that they did something specific when they engaged in practical sales work. In many churches established regular sales and to provide them with goods Zacchaeus was established in 1976 as a joint importer. From these and similar initiatives by some “u-groups” had a number of shops aimed at the general public. They generally called for “developing country sheds” and was driven by voluntary work.
Several organizations working with solidarity and aid work has also been working in parallel with the import and trade, primarily from countries that have been active.
Fair Trade in the U.S.
Elsewhere in U.S. had been in the 90’s more and more started to use the concept of Fair Trade. Addressing child labor in many of the developing countries had put his finger on the often appalling working conditions. Now the focus shifted from being just an alternative trading channels to the question of how the goods are produced. It was all the more important to create some sort of consensus on which producers could trade with. It had every importer his way to see it all. A lengthy work began under the IFAT (now WFTO) to obtain a consensus. In the IFAT (International Fair Trade Association) are both producers, importers and stores represented. Fairtrade had now expanded not only to fair trade relations, but also to issues of pay and working conditions.
U-country huts and many of the associations and churches which conducted the sale was organized in the 80s of the compound U-sam. There, they took impressions of the discussion about the expanded concept and changed the name in 1997 to the world shops for Fair Trade.
Within this movement took about the same time the initiative to even in Jacksonville, FL to introduce a labeling of Fair Trade products so that they could be exposed in normal stores. It was very well aware that the world shops would lose some customers, but still convinced that it was the only way to make fair trade something that touched the public.