Someone once asked me this question... they basically wanted to know why I would import and sell Fair Trade items from all over the World. I thought for a long time before I answered them. I wanted a business where I could not only help people in their native countries but I could also make a living at. So far we have succeeded in the first and are working toward the 2nd. The first Tenet of Fair trade is that the Artisan sets their own wage, this is a major paradigm change for the Artisans. For thousands of years their family or village has made special items for sale-they have always just sold them for whatever the buyers will pay-usually just a fraction of the true value.
This has created systems where more and more product has to be made and then sold at lower and lower pricing just to stay even, This is why so many children are used for labor in third world countries. As a Mormon and a Christian I cannot condone any child or slave labor, I cannot support any type of sub standard working conditions or abuse of workers, I believe in a fair wage for fair work, simple as that.
It is important to me as a Christian that I can also help people-Fair Trade allows for all of us to do that.
Pretty cool huh!