The Youth LEAD Corner
About Fair Trade
|Fair trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect amongst key players: producer, trader and consumer. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to and securing the rights of marginalized producers, raising awareness and campaigning for changes in the rules and practices of trade. Although fair trade was initially aimed for international trade, there is increasing interest to promote the practice locally as the context is a microcosm of the international market.|
Principles, Standards and Indicators
1. Awareness and Practice of Fair Trade
This basically looks at the main and core responsibility of management to install systems and mechanisms that promote the awareness and practice of Fair Trade within the organization. Management should be able to install instruments and/or vital information/dissemination activities that proliferate the principles and/or stories of Fair Trade.
Awareness on Fair Trade
- Copy of current labor code
- Fair Trade principles included in the written and/or expressed mission, vision, values of the company
- Orientation of employee benefits/salaries and office rules/guidelines and pertinent government laws
- Mechanism for complaints and grievances
- Mechanism for promoting fair trade practices
- Consultations with workers on matters concerning company policy, plans, and procedures
- Freedom of workers to join associations, unions, cooperatives or similar organizations that promote their rights and welfare and in the best interest of the organization
- An atmosphere conducive to social, physical, intellectual and emotional development of workers.
- Transparency about the performance of business and the organization’s plans
- Family-friendly policies at work
Respect for Cultural Identity
- Equal work opportunities for indigenous peoples
- Protection and promotion of communal intellectual property rights and cultural designs of IPs.
- Respect of cultural practice
- Free and prior informed consent in the use of communal IP design/tradition
2. Human Resource Development and Responsibility
This hits the main and vital bias of Fair trade – the workers. mechanisms, policies, guidelines within the enterprise should promote the welfare, security and development of its workers.
- Wages approximate average rate for similar occupation or minimum wage except those with exemptions (refer to legally mandated regional minimum wage rate)
- Wages are regularly paid in full
- Wages are properly documented
- Deductions from Workers are done in agreements with workers
- Wages are in cash or check but not in kind.
- Pakyaw [Package] rates (if any) have been negotiated and agreed upon.
- Legally mandated mechanism on the calculation of piece rates exists.
- Legally mandated benefits for regular workers are given.
Safe and Healthy Working Conditions
- Working hours in a workplace other than home should not be exceeding 40hours/week or whatever timeframe is legally mandated
- Workplace provides sufficient light, ventilation & comfort
- Trainings are conducted on potential hazards and safe use of equipment and materials
- Accidents are recorded and appropriate measures taken to prevent repetition
- System for proper handling and storage of toxic or dangerous substances is in place
- Worksite and lavatories are kept clean.
Fair Labor Provisions
- No child labor (14 yrs old and below) (as long as it doesn’t hinder the productive development of the child)
- Married women enjoy paid maternity leave and married men paid paternity leave
- Mechanism to prevent and address concerns relating to sexual harassment
- No prejudice in hiring, training or promotion
- Equal pay for equal work
- Reasonable arrangements for children’s care while mothers are at work
- No discrimination on types of work.
Provisions for Differently-abled Persons
- No prejudice against differently-abled employees, as long as they are able to do tasks assigned.
- Working place is differently-abled friendly
- Special skills training for differently-abled personnel
- Special consideration to diffrently-abled individuals.
3. Social Accountability and Transparency
This looks at various accountability systems within the enterprise. Documentation and verifiable evidences of legal compliance becomes all the more important in this scope. Business relationships with suppliers and customers are also given weight as well as product quality and legal compliance. Furthermore environmental accountability is also given emphasis.
Fair Trade Pricing
- Transparency in pricing
- Avoids unreasonable competition by price among fair trade practitioners/producers (e.g. undercutting, no invoice etc.)
- The social premium generated from Fair Trade is used for community or social development.
- Willingness to show practices to fair trade aligned groups to foster cooperation
- Willingness to open books to authorities
- Taxation payment history, if applicable
- Business registration is present
- Production process and materials used are not pollutants nor are they hazardous.
- Production does not involve banned natural raw materials, chemicals, endangered species or resources.
- Production process and sourcing of materials do not involve illegal means
- Recycling program is in place
- Measures are in place such that resources (water, energy, materials) are sustainably utilized and wastage is minimized or eliminated
- Promotes and/or uses renewable energy sources in production.
- Promotes and/or uses natural/organic/local resources.
Respect for Intellectual Property
- Respect for the designs and intellectual/cultural property of indigenous communities
4. Continuous Improvement and Social Development
This attempts to look at various mechanism/systems/plans the enterprise is working on to continuously develop the plight and circumstance of the other scopes, especially in the areas of human resource development and social accountability.
Total Quality Management
- Prime consideration of users’ or consumers’ safety in the use of product
- Continuous quality improvement and product research to provide world-class products
Practice of Management to Give Motivational Reward
- Recognition and incentives are given for outstanding achievements and long, quality service
- Programs, activities and incentives that promote family values and participation are in place
Voluntary Benefits are extended to Workers
- Housing Benefits, Profit Sharing, Performance Bonus etc.