What To Know About Starting a Fair Trade Business. : ThyBlackMan

Sunday, May 26, 2019


What To Know About Starting a Fair Trade Business.

April 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) A Fair Trade business is one that’s socially responsible and voluntarily works to be fair to employees, creators, and producers.

When someone has a Fair Trade business, they focus on certain principles, including more equitable distribution of the money made through the business, and the promotion of labor rights. Also important in fair trade is the idea that workers have safe conditions.

Regarding consumers, a Fair Trade business connects them with the producers, and customers are also aware of the specific issues and situations relevant to the lives of the producers.

Having a Fair Trade business is compelling in the eyes of consumers, but how do you make it happen? A lot of e-Commerce retailers are moving toward Fair Trade concepts. As an example, e-Commerce retailers may pay people in Guatemala directly for their artisan items, ensuring the artisans are paid a fair market value price for their work.

So, how do you start your own Fair Trade business?

Create a Business Plan

A business plan is essential. During this time you’ll decide some key considerations such as whether you’ll open a storefront, or operate online. It can be useful to research the competition and see how they’re doing things, but at the same time, hone in on ways you can differentiate yourself.

One of the unique elements of a Fair Trade business is that you’re mission-based. You’re emphasizing your mission in all of your marketing, and as part of your unique selling proposition, so carefully decide on this.

Sourcing

There are some different options when it comes to sourcing Fair Trade products. First and foremost, Fair Trade products can’t be sourced from mass producers in China. You can, however, find online marketplaces that offer only Fair Trade products to add to an inventory.

Another option is to directly visit the countries you want to source from and meet with producers and artisans. Of course, with this option, you will have to invest more upfront for travel costs. Also, the people who travel to meet artisans are more often wholesalers than retailers, so keep that in mind.

The easiest thing to do when you’re just starting out is research the Fair World Project. This is where you can find retailers that are proven to adhere to certain Fair Trade standards. The brands featured through the Fair World Project are members of the Fair Trade Federation, World Fair Trade Organization, Cooperative Coffees, or Domestic Fair Trade Certification.

These brands also have been vetted to ensure their packaging and labeling is accurate and transparent, and these brands can’t support any policies that could potentially harm small-scale producers.

Create a Strong Brand Message

When you’re building a fair trade business, you want your brand message to be strong. You want your customers to know who and what you support, and you want the Fair Trade element to be front and center.

You can include the official Fair Trade logo in your marketing if you meet the requirements, although this is primarily used for coffees and farmed items.

Finally, work on branding that’s inspirational. That sense of inspiration is how Fair Trade businesses set themselves apart from the competition regarding marketing.

Staff Writer; Ronald Brown


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