How is fair trade different from free market trading?

Fair trade practices ensure, through a third party certifier, that certain regulations are respected. The differentiating regulation above all else is that fair trade ensures guaranteed minimum prices above world market prices that pay a family farmer for an honest day of work. In addition to this guaranteed minimum price, a premium is paid that is in turn used to improve the social conditions in family farmers’ communities such as better plant infrastructure, support services for farmers, schools, hospitals, roads, water and electricity. Furthermore, fair trade ensures that there is no forced labour, that family farmers have good working conditions and that they are paid in advance to assist with long-term planning and pre-harvest financing. Fair trade practices support sustainable farming and the democratic participation in farmer-owned co-operatives.