Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Fair trade for a change - Youth Zone age 9-12

© ACDI-CIDA/Jean-François Leblanc
Approximately 80 percent of Mozambique's labour force is employed in the agricultural sector. A small number of commercial farms earn export revenues from such commodities as prawns and fish, cotton, sugar, timber, tobacco, and cashews.

Today, fair trade is helping more than a million families in some 50 developing countries.

Most of those families are farmers who do not earn enough money to break free of poverty.

Fair trade helps to:

  • Reduce the number of intermediary services (for example, those of resalers) between the farmers and the consumers
  • Group farmers together to give them more power
  • Secure farmers a fair price for their products
  • Access loans at a favourable interest rate to farmers
  • Build schools or health clinics in the communities
  • Provide farmers with equipment, telecommunication systems, or means of transportation
  • Provide training to farmers to upgrade skills

The Government of Canada has been supporting fair trade projects in developing countries for a number of years. Its partners are Canadian organizations involved in fair trade, such as Oxfam Canada, Équiterre and SOCODEVI.

More and more fair trade certified products are becoming available each year in Canada:
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Coffee
  • Cotton
  • Flowers
  • Fresh fruit
  • Grains
  • Herbs and spices Nuts and oils (shea butter and olive oil)
  • Shoes
  • Sports balls
  • Sugars
  • Teas
  • Wine

And the fair trade market is growing every year. Participate.

  • The next time you buy a chocolate bar, a piece of clothing, or shoes, ask questions about how the items you are buying are made and what countries they were made in. Think of the effect you are having on the lives of those who made the items. You can also do your own research on the Web using the product brand name.
  • Buy fair. Locate fair trade stores near you. You can use the Fair Trade Finder on the Fairtrade Canada site. Make sure the products are certified fair trade. Look for one of these labels:

    Black and white Fairtrade Logo representing a person holding two bowls.   Black, blue and green Fairtrade Logo representing a silhouette in a circle.
  • Share what you learn with your family and friends.
  • Join fair trade organizations, visit their websites, and add them to your social media profile.
  • Do a presentation on fair trade as a school project.