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Why The Fair Trade Market Is Growing In Importance

By Lila Barry

The concept of the fair trade market is one that has been growing in popularity in recent years. The idea is to give producers in developing countries a just price for the commodities they make or grow or that are extracted from their lands.

Capitalism as we know it today owes its very existence to the particular relationship that was contrived between industrializing nations and colonized states in various corners of the world. A number of European countries including Great Britain are examples of how empire worked. The legacy of the unfair relationships still persists until the present era.

During the days when colonial domination was being established, some countries of Europe assumed power over foreign lands around the world. These succeeded in achieving their hegemony with military might. They soon set about converting their new territories to producers of raw materials to feed the burgeoning industry of Europe. Once the raw material had been processed the colonies were ready markets to receive their products back in the form of manufactured goods.

The colonized countries provided captive markets for the products which they had to buy at much higher price than that which was obtained for the raw product. In actual fact it was the European colonial authorities that fixed the price in the first place. They were always in favor of the colonial buyers and not the colonized sellers. The relationship was completely unfair and served only to keep the colonized countries in poverty while the colonizers grew rich.

Many people think that colonialism is a historical entity that no longer applies in the modern world. Unfortunately, this is not true. It is something that still operates up till today. So many countries still find themselves locked in the age old position of being the suppliers of unprocessed products which are purchased by the industrialized countries at low prices. Palm oil, cocoa and even gold and diamonds are examples of some of these raw materials.

It is not just these unfair economic relationships persist, but that they have in fact evolved and manifested some very unpleasant facets in the modern world. Nowadays, some of the poor countries are given the mandate to manufacture good but the labor needed to do so are paid very poorly and given extremely bad working conditions.

The tragedies that are coming to public attention of these unfair trading relationships is having an effect. Many of the consumers buying the cheap products did not really have an idea of how it came to be possible. However, now that they are learning more about it, many conscientious people are refusing to be party to such relationships.

The people who are looking for fair alternatives are seriously investigating the existence of a fair trade market that they can get easy access too. As such many retailers are responding to the new level of awareness by sourcing goods that have been fairly traded to supply to their growing customer base.

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