For centuries, commerce has been an important factor in human communication, cultural exchange and integration, science, and goods. It has been a fundamental element in geographical exploration, technological innovation and in the growth of wealth for many nations, cities, and individuals. However, it has also clearly been a motive for war, the immeasurable exploitation of millions of people, entire populations and of natural resources. Working in this environment, Fair Trade was started as an initiative that seeks to contribute to the transformation of the current inequality of the global market, where the prices of prime materials have been systematically dropping at the same time that the prices of industrialized goods are increasingly on the rise. Additionally, much of the work realized, mainly in the countryside, is not adequately values nor fairly compensated. The hardest-hit victims of these price drops are the small producers, those that do not earn enough money for economical survival and that have no direct access to the market in which to sell their products without the use of intermediaries.
The movement for fair and equal trade practices, promoted by Bioplaneta, seeks to ensure that each produced has the right to the fair compensation of his or her work and to achieve economic development and social balance.
At present, globalisation has reached a turning point and has opened up possibilities for this new activity which is truly so inherent in human society. Instantaneous communication and increasingly faster and easier communication with the majority of the world is bringing the almost mythic goal of one planet, one united humanity, closer to becoming a reality. Nevertheless, the goal is not so easily reached, as within the same parameters of globalisation the laws of commerce and the economy can be seen to have been contaminated by the modern economic system known as neoliberalism, that which puts the interests of the market above all others: social, environmental and humanitarian, and which in essence erases a sense of humanity within the market, that of solidarity and a life full of dignity. The concentration of wealth in an ever reducing number of people and the spreading of poverty and misery, added to environmental degradation, have been its main effects.
In the last few years a new vision of commerce has grown in popularity, particularly in Europe, that views the fair distribution of profits for the main actors involved in the production as an important factor in the purchasing of a product. Fair Trade Stamps, which are becoming increasingly respected among consumers, those who are increasingly more aware of their personal roles in the entirety of the global economic scheme, and who decide to make purchases based not only on the quality of a product, but also on the environmental and social implications of its production.
Max Havellaar, a Dutch organisation, has been one of the pioneers in bringing the guarantee of a fair and humane purchase to the global market. There is currently in existence a World Network of Organizations that label and certify this process (Fair-trade Labelling Organizations.)
Bioplaneta has united itself with this effort and has created a flexible and direct mechanism, serving as a tool for small producers, to commercialise their products and services in a fair manner through the use of the Virtual store and the global network of distributors of Eco-Solidarity products.