Fair trade is an organized social movement which promotes standards for international labour, environmentalism, and social policy in areas related to production of Fairtrade labelled and unlabelled goods. The movement focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries.
Fair trade's strategic intent is to deliberately work with marginalised producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency. It also aims at empowering them to become stakeholders in their own organizations and actively play a wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade.
As have most developmental efforts, fair trade has proved itself controversial and has drawn criticism from both ends of the political spectrum. Some economists and conservative think tanks see fair trade as a type of subsidy that impedes growth. Segments of the left criticize fair trade for not adequately challenging the current trading system.
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