Are you getting a Fair trade with your employer?

In the late 80’s and early 90’s free trade was all the rage in Canada. Brian Mulroney was going to architect a capitalistic model that would sell us down the river. Fast forward to now. Free trade has had a very positive impact overall, however, it is not without its challenges. I have been won over by the principles of Fair Trade. I like it because it has a lot of the elements of Free Trade, only it is better.

This weeks Podcast is with Rob Clarke, Executive Director of TransFair Canada. If you see any product in Canada with a fair trade logo, his organization is responsible for the licensing of all fair trade products. Rob has a very interesting perspective, as he spent 20 years as an executive in the technology sector before taking on his current role. Fair trade and the organic category is the fastest growing sector in the consumer goods area. I have been interested in the whole area of fair trade, both from a work perspective as well as from an economic model.

There are 7 key elements to a fair trade relationship:

1. Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers

2. Transparency and accountability

3. Capacity building

4. Payment of a fair price

5. Gender equity

6. Working conditions

7. Environmental protection

What kind of relationship do you have with your employer? Is it a “Free” or “Fair” Trade. I think most professionals recognize that their employers have problems to solve and a right to earn a profit, however, they just want to be treated fairly within the context of their business relationship.

A fair trade employment has all of the above elements. One of the great advantages of fair trade from an employers and employees perspective is there is less turnover. Other advantages include, more innovation, less conflict and a great sense of community which, in most cases, ironically leads to what drives free trade – more profits. Doing good, everyone wins, including the shareholder. I can offer you a Fair Trade – book an initial consultation!

Next week’s WORKout is how to deal with changes in the market, a conversation with Michael Urlocker, founder of Ondisruption.

Along the road with you,

Alan Kearns