Fair Trade Me
When I said, ‘Fair Trade Me’, actually I want to make a mindset for everyone to be more aware about fair trade concept (not the label) in this world. What is the function of Fair Trade? What is the importance of Fair Trade? Why we should concern about Fair Trade? And could we put it as one of our lifestyle in the future?
Not being a hypocrite, I’m doing this article also to accomplish my desire about retail management in economic research for my job yet from sustainability in living perspective. Maybe you found that the economic or business concept will not walk harmoniously with sustainable development for people mindset about business players. Hold on! Don’t think too much about business people so reactively. For better explanation about it, you can visit my posterous at http://kikybrahmana.posterous.com .
When you said sustainability in living, so it is also PEOPLE responsibility about what should happen in this world for the best. So, it also means business people should be more concern and aware about sustainability in living. Before we are going to talk about Fair Trade (FT) furthermore, let’s we talk about sustainability in living briefly.
Sustainability in living is one of lifestyle that hopefully will happen in this world start from now and over and over again until this world gone (hopefully never happen). Sustainability in living is the concept that happened because of the people consciousness for earth’s changing. The first issue about sustainable development started in Rio de Janerio in 1992 and well-known as Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is the first summit for nations’ awareness about global warming and environmental issues. Based on United Nations (UN), Agenda 21 (also known as Rio Declaration) is a declaration on environment and development; and the statement of principles for sustainable management of forest where this first summit held in Rio de Janerio, Brasil, 3 to 14 June 1992 (http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/ ). Furthermore this summit resulted the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in December 1992 that will observe and be concerned about the progress of Sustainable Development in every aspect in this world.
Then, what is Sustainable Development?
Sustainable development was defined in the Brundtland Report by the world commission on the environment and development, in 1987, as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs”. Unfortunately, this definition remained unclear and the guidance for countries to develop sustainable development policies is very small. Then, in Rio Summit 1992, sustainable development definition has been developed until today.
Further, Garvare and Isaksson (2001) surmise best:
“Sustainable development is defined as the process to reach a steady state where both humanity and nature thrive”. (pp. 12)
Therefore there are 3 important aspects in sustainable development which are social, economic, and environmental aspects.
The Environmental Aspect:
The environmental aspect in sustainability development can be defined as preserving the natural resources of agriculture to meet the predictable needs of future generations as it maintains other eco- systems influenced by agricultural activities. It means that the current generation should be responsible in managing and protection the natural resources in order to avoid the damage of environment. Further, Fuch and Lorek (2004) stated that individuals must protect the environment for the sustainability of the planet. The current generation must manage their activities for protecting the environment.
The Economic Aspect:
The economic aspect of sustainable development can be defined as a wise, efficient and innovative act for the current and future demands in order to have an adequate, safe, and reliable supply of food and raw materials. Bower (1997) stated that sustainability development is consisting the economic development, which including the future generation welfare, that satisfies the issues for sustainability.
Economic approach which taken as policy must incorporate with the conservation of environment. Torjusen et al (2004: 24) states that organic food agriculture helps the protection of environment. It can be concluded that organic food can incorporate with the protection of environment.
The Social Aspect:
Sustainable development emphasizes the welfare of human being both the current generation and the future generation (Lin, 2006:5). It emphasizes that the chance to exploit the resources of future generation must be the same with the chance to use the resources of current generation. The importance of changing values in terms of a decreasing social relevance of meals, and increasing value of ecological aspects and consumption habits in terms of upbringing, health concern, and life style (Fuch and Lorek, 2004:12). It means that individual should not only consume the resource but also preserve the environment. Individuals and organization (business or non-profit) should realize and take responsibility for their activities to achieve a better life of community, and give the similar potential to the future generation.
Figure Scheme of sustainable development: at the confluence of three preoccupations UNESCO, 2001
So, from those explanation, we can assume that fair trade could be one of sustainable development solution. If you still ask why? Now it’s the best time to explore what is Fair Trade!
Fair trade according to my free translation (after read some sources) is a system in a company how its show their concern and awareness in equality rights and justice in trading that used in the markets to achieve sustainability in living. Mostly this fair trade issue will use in agriculture and manufactured company and influence about supply chain management. Fair trade will make a company to get their materials directly from supplier or small business company so they can cut some middlemen yet the company still gain their profits because their product’s price still comparable with the products from non-fair trade company.
Fair Trade movement is happening in middle or end of 2007. So, it’s still a young movement yet many events and agreements that already happened. So far, I only know one organization who can give fair trade certification called FTL (Fair Trade Label). But basically, every fair trade organizations will register into WFTO (World Fair Trade Organizations). These organizations are ensuring producers to get fair prices, services, and everything they need equally.
So, how about you? Are you already fair trade minded enough?