Frequently asked questions on fair trade

What’s the difference between Fairtrade Certified™, Fairtrade, fair trade and fairly traded?

In the past, Oxfam has used ‘Fairtrade’ and ‘fair trade’ almost interchangeably. Oxfam is moving towards streamlining our usage of terms for fair trade to more accurately reflect the type of fair trade we’re referring to and the diversity of the organisations involved. Because of this, you’ll see us use different variations of the phrase ‘fair trade’ on this website and in publications in the future.

There is more than one organisation working towards a fairer system of trade for producers and growers in the developing world. The two main groups in New Zealand are Fairtrade Australia New Zealand (FANZ) – a member of the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) – and the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). The only New Zealand supplier of WFTO goods is TradeAid. Both have slightly different, but similarly valid, approaches to fair trade, and both have also agreed to a core Charter of Fair Trade Principles.

When we say Fairtrade Certified™ we are referring to products that have been certified by FANZ or another FLO member, and which are clearly identified by the Fairtrade Label on the packaging.

When we say Fairtrade, we are referring to the FANZ/FLO system of certification and ongoing evaluation for fair trade growers and producers. Find out more about the Fairtrade system here.

When we say fair trade, we are referring to the general system of fair trade principles, including trading partnerships based on dialogue, transparency and respect, seeking greater equity in international trade, contributing to sustainable development and securing the rights of marginalised producers and workers. Find out more about WFTO fair trade standards here.

When we say fairly traded, we are referring to products or organisations that may not yet be certified by a fair trade organisation, but are in the process of working towards it. Find out more about Oxfam’s work on fair trade with producers in Southeast Asia.

Why is Oxfam promoting fair trade?

Oxfam believes that trade has the potential to lift millions of the world’s poorest people out of poverty – but only if it is fair. Oxfam is working to make trade fair by challenging international trade rules, by working with marginalized producers in the developing world, and by promoting fair trade.

Oxfam was one of the early pioneers of fair trade, helping some of the world’s poorest communities achieve better terms of trade since the 1960s. Oxfam believes that fair trade is an effective way to empower growers and producers in the developing world to work their way out of poverty.

Does Oxfam sell fairly traded products?

Fairly traded products are available from Oxfam in some countries, such as the UK, Australia and Belgium, but Oxfam New Zealand does not sell any fairly traded products.