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23352 Madero Suite L
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Gallant International is a Fair Trade Certified company. We specialize in 100% organic cotton bags,muslin bags accessories that are customizable to your need and budget. Please contact us for canvas tote bags that are organic and fair trade.

Blogs

Fair Trade Movement and Major Players

GALLANT INTERNATIONAL INC.

What does FAIR TRADE MEAN? Welcome back to those of you who want to know more about what Fair Trade is, why it’s so important, and how you - as a consumer can work to ensure that the products you buy are supporting farmers around the world to receive better working conditions!

In the last blog, we explored the Fair Trade ecosystem through the lens of the certifying organizations themselves and what their criteria for Fair Trade (or fairtrade) mean based on their different standards, principles and certification methods.

This post aims to focus more on the movement as a whole in the fashion industry over the last few years and who the major players are that you should support as you continue on your own Fair Trade journey. One thing to keep in mind is that each industry (fashion, consumer goods, jewelry, and handicrafts) has its own motivating factors for Fair Trade standards in the supply chain, dependent on the size of the cooperatives, value-added processing, raw material costs, and production methods to name a few. Today we want to highlight the fashion and apparel industry with a specific focus on cotton producers and retailers.


Fair Trade movement

According to fairtradecampaigns.org, ‘Fair Trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, shoppers, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first. It is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and economic crisis. Fair Trade is a way to make a conscious choice for a better world and to support responsible companies, farmers, workers, and the environment. In other words, it’s a world-changing way of doing business.’

In other words, Fair trade means producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, practice autonomy in their production and decide on their own future without the restrictive conditions found in conventional farming and factory practices. This is obtained through a Fairtrade minimum price, Fair Trade premiums and collective bargaining by producers to determine their needs and advocate for themselves with buyers.

Today, Fair Trade has grown into a leading market-based model of sustainable production, trade, and consumption. According to Statista.com, ‘the estimated retail sales of Fairtrade International products has grown globally from 830 million euros in 2004 to about 5.9 billion euros in 2014.’ Fairtrade International quoted 2016 global sales of 7.88 billion euros in 2016. Additionally, Fair Trade USA reports in their 2016 Almanac that ‘Fair Trade Apparel and Home Goods sales grew 66% in 2016, thanks to the support of visionary brands like Patagonia, West Elm, PrAna, Pact and Boll & Branch. More than 1,200 leading brands and retailers sell Fair Trade products and consumer awareness of the seal rose to 67%. U.S. consumers have also begun to adopt this trend—the International Markets Bureau in Canada reports that ‘25 percent of consumers reported that organic fairly traded food and beverages are worth paying a little extra for.’

Since 2000, fair trade sales and consumer awareness have increased tremendously, as the range of fair trade organizations has also expanded. From the early days of lace and home decor, handmade items now include clothing, sports equipment, toys, and other items. From its initial focus on coffee, fair trade product certification has expanded to tea, chocolate, sugar, vanilla, fruit, wine, and much more. In 2002, the first World Fair Trade Day was celebrated to heighten consumer awareness and to strengthen connections among fair traders and interested citizens around the globe.


Fair trade fashion industry and major players

A harsh truth that surprises many consumers is that the fashion industry is the second most pollutive industry on the planet. Driven by low margins and planned obsolescence, or the term used for clothing that is meant to be worn once or twice before being discarded, fast fashion supply chains are riddled with human trafficking and child labor as well as hundreds of human rights violations. In addition, the fashion industry is responsible for pollution to rivers and lakes in Asia from toxic dyes that impact worker and planet welfare and loss of habitat and water for thousands of farmers. Fast fashion, defined by Miriam Webster as ‘an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers’[2] has become the norm for clothing companies to meet the demands of fickle consumers and is wreaking havoc on the globe.’

Today, there are 30 million cotton farmers worldwide in 90 different countries, most of which are still developing. Fair Trade cotton that is produced by farmers and then processed in Fair Trade factories ensures that the growers are paid a living wage and that women and children are not exploited in the harvesting of cotton. Cotton farmers tend to live in groups and have to work together in cooperatives that are owned by a few individuals and work together in large groups to process the crop. The final cotton fabric is then transferred to a factory to be sewn into the garments and cotton tote bags that are sold to consumers. In this factory, colors and accents are added to the finished products, as well as labels and all any other design needs.

We pride ourselves on being changemakers who are leading a movement towards making only sustainable and ethical products under positive conditions that are trendy, affordable and 100% customizable. Let us help you make beautiful products that create positive outcomes for both the people and planet. Contact us for affordable private label organic cotton reusable shopping bags, grocery bags, drawstring bags, cosmetic pouches, t-shirts, and more.

 

Private label promotional bags

Fair Trade: What do all these labels mean

GALLANT INTERNATIONAL INC.

Fair Trade: What do all these labels mean?

Fair Trade as a labeling movement has achieved enormous accolades in recent years. Global sales of Fair Trade certified products have reached over 8 billion Euros (according to statista.com) and there are currently over 10,000 Fair trade certified products available on the market in over 70 countries. To respond to these immense sales volumes, many non-profit certifying organizations have sprouted up around the world to ensure that the standards of Fair Trade, the heart of the movement, are all being upheld and closely monitored. This ensures that producers and artisans are receiving fair wages and increased economic livelihoods.Gallant International Inc. specializes in Fairtrade bags and accessories such as custom canvas tote bags and custom drawstring bags.

With so many different players in the Fair Trade market comes different approaches to producer welfare and direct trade relationships, as well as diverse criteria and definitions of what ‘fair’ actually means in the local context. As each upstream relationship with raw materials is unique and complex, different needs emerge that need to be supported by different sized certifiers with different foci and visions of inclusive trading relationships.

With that in mind, we at Gallant wanted to explain succinctly the difference between each of the 4 predominant certifying organizations, what their approach to Fair Trade is and how that shifts their definition of what criteria meet the standards of a Fair Trade label. Throughout this conversation, our hope is that you have a clearer understanding of what Fair Trade is and why it is such an impactful method of conducting business. We provide fair trade custom printed tote bags that are made of GOTS certified organic cotton.


Fair Trade USA

https://www.fairtradecertified.org/

One of the largest certifiers in the world, Fair Trade USA is an independent, nonprofit organization that sets standards, certifies, and labels products that promote sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers. They operate using both a for-profit and non-profit business model working with large-scale farms, fisheries, and factories worldwide. On average, 75% of Fair Trade USA’s revenue is derived from income earned from over 1,1000 business partners that pay to use the Fair Trade Certified™ label. Fair Trade USA works with these brands to ensure that the products they offer comply with the rigorous Fair Trade standards, which helps consumers to purchase their way to a better world, simply by looking for the label on the products they buy.

The remaining 25% is contributed revenue from individuals, foundations, and corporations who partner with Fair Trade USA to invest in innovation, growth, and impact. Their mission is to enable sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth.


Fair Trade USA started as a certifier in the 1980’s working with Central American coffee cooperatives and have expanded their model to include much larger farms so they can create an impact on a larger level. They are currently shifting their focus to include farms located in the United States so they can improve the livelihoods of migrant farmers and their families. Our custom printed cosmetic bags are Fair Trade factory Certified.

Their definition of Fair Trade:

Fair Trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, shoppers, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first. A choice for Fair Trade Certified™ goods is a choice to support responsible companies, empower farmers, workers, and protect the environment. In other words, it’s a world-changing way of doing business.

Fair Trade standards according to Fair Trade USA include:

Access to basic services like clean water education and healthcare

Fundamental human rights

The right to safe working condition

Sustainable production and farming practices

Improved working conditions

Better prices and wages for farmers and workers

Transparent trade practices

Fairtrade prohibits child labor, forced labor, GMOs, and encourages environmentally-friendly production such as organic cotton bags.

Additionally, Fair Trade USA includes collective bargaining and Fair Trade social premiums in addition to Fair wages in their model, which set this organization apart from many other certifiers. Fair Trade premiums are amounts in addition to wages that go to a social fund that the producer community must then determine how to allocate.


Fairtrade America

http://www.fairtradeamerica.org/

Fairtrade America is an independent non-profit organization associated with the international Fairtrade system. They work directly with companies, consumers and campaigners to secure a better deal for farmers and workers by representing the global FairTrade movement in America. Fairtrade is the world's largest and most recognized fair trade system and consists of three producer networks, Fairtrade International, 32 Fairtrade organizations, and FLOCERT, the independent certification body for Fairtrade.

(Fairtrade is not trademarked by Fairtrade America and is such identified as a separate brand from Fair Trade USA, who do not use FLOCERT to certify their products.)

Their definition of Fairtrade:

Based on transparency, respect, and dialogue, Fairtrade is a trading partnership that works to make international trade fairer. Fairtrade secures the rights of and offers better trading conditions to marginalized farmers and works in the Global South, thus contributing to sustainable development.

Fairtrade America’s 4 key areas of activity include:

· Providing independent certification of the product supply chain through FLOCERT. Fairtrade America does not certify any products themselves, instead, they license the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark, which appears on a product as assurance for consumers that the product meets the internationally agreed Fairtrade Standards.

· Helping grow demand for Fairtrade products and empowering producers to sell their goods in the United States.

· Working with businesses and nonprofit organizations to support producer organizations and their networks.

· Raising awareness of the needs of small-scale farmers and workers in developing countries and supporting efforts to make trade fair.

The Fairtrade International standards:

Governance is important. In Fairtrade, farmers and workers have 50% of the vote in the General Assembly, four seats on the board of Fairtrade International, and representation on the Standards Committee that approves changes to the standards, minimum prices and premiums.


The Fairtrade Minimum Price applies to most Fairtrade products and acts as a safety net for farmers and workers when prices fall below a sustainable level. The minimum price aims to cover the costs of sustainable production and is established by Fairtrade International through an intensive consultation process with producers, traders, and other stakeholders.

On top of the purchase price for the raw product, producer organizations receive a Fairtrade Premium for sales on Fairtrade terms. This amount is paid directly to the producer organization whose members decide how to best invest it to improve their community, business or local environment. For farmers, the Fairtrade Premium can mean improving their business or productivity, helping them transition to organic production, supporting local schools or improving healthcare. Workers will often invest in better housing for community members, access to education and much more. We believe that farmers and workers know best what their communities need, which is why Fairtrade gives farmers and workers the ability to invest the premium as they see fit.


Fair Trade Federation

http://www.fairtradefederation.org/

The Fair Trade Federation is an association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade as a membership organization of businesses who practice 360° fair trade.  These members are companies that have made a full commitment to fair trading practices – each and every business decision is made with the well-being of artisans and farmers in mind. This commitment runs deep and represents a high bar of fair trade. By using standards set by FLO and the World Fair Trade Organization, the Federation ensures that its members are upholding fair trading practices through audits.

The Fair Trade Federation traces its roots to the late 1970s when individual alternative trade organizations began holding yearly conferences for groups working in fair trade. In 1994, the group incorporated formally as the North American Alternative Trade Organization (NAATO); and, the following year, changed its name to the Fair Trade Federation. Since then, FTF has focused on supporting fully committed businesses in order to expand markets for artisans and farmers around the world. The Federation has been an active member of the World Fair Trade Organization (formerly IFAT) for many years. We at Gallant offer Fairtrade cotton reusable produce bags and mesh produce bags.

Their definition of Fair Trade:

Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system. Fair trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. These producers often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods.

Their principles:

Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships
Build Capacity
Promote Fair Trade
Pay Promptly and Fairly
Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
Ensure the Rights of Children
Cultivate Environmental Stewardship


World Fair Trade Organization

https://wfto.com

The World Fair Trade Organization is a membership organisation of over 400 Fair Trade enterprises and the organisations that support them. As a global network, the Organization is supported by five regional branches in Africa & the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America & the Pacific Rim, through their respective offices. The office in Culemborg, the Netherlands, coordinates the activities of WFTO worldwide. WFTO also works closely with several country networks that support Fair Trade.

Several of their key activities include:

Setting the Fair Trade standards

Market Access

Voice and Advocacy efforts

Creating a Global network of Fair Trade organizations

Their definition of Fairtrade:

"Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.

Fair Trade organisations have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade." They can be recognised by the WFTO logo.

Their Principles:

Principle One: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers

Principle Two: Transparency and Accountability

Principle Three: Fair Trading Practices and cultural identity

Principle Four: Fair Payment, Fair Prices, Fair Wages

Principle Five:  Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour

Principle Six:  Commitment to Nondiscrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association

Principle Seven:  Ensuring Good Working Conditions

Principle Eight:  Providing Capacity Building

Principle Nine:  Promoting Fair Trade

Principle Ten: Respect for the Environment


We hope that this helps give you a better understanding of the breadth and depth of the Fair Trade ecosystem. Please contact us with any questions you have about how these organizations interact with each other or if you have specific questions about Fair Trade in your country!

Stay tuned next week for a conversation on the differences between Fair Trade and direct trade, and the benefits and drawbacks of each system for producers and consumers.

 

What is Fair Trade?

GALLANT INTERNATIONAL INC.

Fair Trade is at the core of our business. It’s what we do and who we are, the mission of our company and the guiding force behind all of our business decisions. For us it’s more than just a phrase or a label--it’s a lifestyle.

What does Fair Trade mean? Is it paying workers more or making sure that farmers and factory workers are getting treated well? Is it like direct trade or is it something more? And does it only apply to chocolate or coffee or organic tote bags too?

organic cotton Seed being ginned.jpg

As the certification becomes more popular, there are more and more consumers who are aware of the concept but tend to only have a surface understanding of the concept as a whole.

As a Fair Trade private label company set on producing the finest Fair Trade cotton, we want to make sure our customers share our values, and to do that, they need to know what we believe in.

Fair trade, as defined by the World Fair Trade Organization:

Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers. Fair Trade organizations have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.


To sum it up in a few sentences, Fair Trade is a global movement of consumers, producers, businesses, and certifiers that consider people and planet first. They all work together to make sure that they are focusing on treating resources as limited and creating products in a way that benefits the producers who make them and the land that grows them.

History of Fair Trade

Fair Trade developed out of a response to the negative results of unfair trade practices and the widening divide between the global north and south. Since its inception, the Fair Trade movement has been growing at an exponential rate as more consumers realize that while many benefit from open markets, subsidized commodity items and products that are mass produced, many farmers, artisans and children are losing their livelihoods, freedoms and in the worst cases, human rights.

During the last ten years there has been a 66% growth in Fair Trade sales, and in 2016 Fair Trade sales totaled over 7.88 million Euros!

What are the requirements?

To be Fair Trade certified, a product must be produced by a farmer, cooperative, or workers that meets certain standards set by the Fair Trade labeling body. Currently, there are over 11 certifiers internationally, each with their own standards. These standards may vary slightly, but their core values align. Some of the aligned standards are:

  • Workers receive a Fair Trade minimum wage

  • Environmental sustainability is upheld

  • Safe working conditions are provided

  • There is no forced or child labor

  • Premiums are given to producers based on the product they create

  • These premiums go to a communal fund to be used for development projects

  • The supply chain is transparent to consumers

Stay tuned for more blogs on what Fair Trade is and why you should support it. We want to challenge you to keep the conversation going by blogging about Fair Trade and why worker’s rights are so important.

 

Five reasons to switch to organic cotton tote bags

GALLANT INTERNATIONAL INC.

It's better for the environment: Organic cotton fiber is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and potentially toxic pesticides and herbicides.

It's better for workers: By avoiding potentially toxic chemical cotton workers benefit the associated health problems and deaths common in non-organic cotton production.

 It's non GMO: Genetically modified organism is banned to grow organic cotton.

Restricted use of chemicals: GOTS ensures that the chemicals used in processing textiles meet strict requirements on toxicity and biodegradability. Final products are restricted in the amount of allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemical residues. These residues can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and may cause allergies, skin rashes or respiratory problems.

Factory conditions are better: GOTS certified organic textiles must meet social criteria based on the International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions. These cover minimum wages, working hours, child labor, freedom of association, discrimination, harsh or inhumane treatment and more.  GOTS certified organic cotton bags means it meets social and environmental standards.

organic cotton tote bags