"Fair Trade" is a system of trading that works with disadvantaged artisans and farmers to market their goods to wealthier consumers. It greatly increases the percentage of the sales price that is returned to producers helping them feed, clothe, shelter, educate and provide health care for their families often through cooperatives and encourages sustainable, ecologically sound development. 

Fair Trade offers these goods to consumers at a fair price by selling more directly from the producer and enables everyday consumers to interact with their global community by taking action to ease the burdens of poverty in a very direct way.

GrassRoots and the wholesalers and producers we purchase from abide by the following principles (as stipulated by the Fair Trade Federation):

Pay Promptly & Fairly

  • Producers and artisans are promptly paid a wage which enables them to feed and shelter their families and provides them access to health care and education.
  • Producers set prices within the framework of the true costs of labor time, materials, and sustainable growth.
  • Wholesalers offer producers access to interest-free preproduction advance payment to defray initial start-up expenses.

Create Opportunities for Economically & Socially Marginalized Producers

  • Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
  • Fair Trade groups create social and economic opportunities for producers who are marginalized because of their gender, physical abilities or socio-economic status.

Build Capacity

  • Producers develop independence through their long-term relationships with wholesalers.
  • Wholesalers assist producers with building capacity through proactive communication, financial and technical assistance, and market information.
  • All Fair Trade participants seek to share best practices and to strengthen the connections between communities.

Ensure the Rights of Children

  • Children rights to security, education, and play are protected by Fair Trade organizations.
  • Groups respect and support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms.
  • Fair Trade participants disclose the involvement of children in production.
  • Under no circumstances is child trafficking and exploitative child labor supported or condoned.

Respect Cultural Identity

  • Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities, while seeking to create positive and equitable change.
  • Wholesalers respect the development of products, practices, and organizational models based on indigenous traditions and techniques to sustain cultures and revitalize traditions.
  • Wholesalers and retailers balance market needs with producers' cultural heritage.

Develop Transparent & Accountable Relationships

  • All relationships between Fair Trade groups are open, fair, consistent, and respectful.
  • All Fair Trade participants share information about the entire trading chain through honest and proactive communication.
  • If problems arise, wholesalers and producers work cooperatively with fair trade partners and other organizations to implement solutions.

Support Safe & Empowering Work Conditions

  • All Fair Trade participants work in a safe and healthy environment, free of forced labor.
  • Members seek to eliminate discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status.
  • Members support workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.

Non-Discrimination & Gender Equality

  • No Fair Trade organization discriminates in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/Aids status or age.
  • Income is distributed equitably at all times, particularly equal pay for equal work by women and men.

Cultivate Environmental Stewardship

  • Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  • Groups actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources. 
  • All members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible.

Promote Fair Trade

  • Fair Trade members actively raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system.
  • Members demonstrate that trade can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, the distribution of power, and the environment in the communities with which they work