What is Fair Trade
As you take notice of certain products, you might see a marker notifying you that this is a Fair Trade product. You can find this nestled in with the health foods and often accompanying organic food items. Fair Trade can mean a lot of things, but here’s the short of it: as a consumer of Fair Trade products, you are helping support vulnerable farmers and the producers of products we love in their local market.
You are helping them be paid fairly for their products, as well as granting them access to safe and healthy working conditions and eco-friendly farming options. This has a positive impact on children and child-workers, the environment, marginalized workers, communities, local economies, and, lastly, your health.
Why You should Buy Fair Trade
As consumers, we have a responsibility to promote economic and environmental equality. With the rise in large producers that can drive costs down, workers in underdeveloped countries are exploited and often undersold on a product that is their cultural and economic heartbeat.
Take chocolate for example: chocolate is native to South America, and a Fair Trade Certified chocolate tends to be of finer quality as it ensures the farmer received a fair price, enabling him to farm with techniques that bring out the natural flavors of the region. It also prohibits the chances of slave and child labor.
With this information in mind, it is possible to act consciously to impact the world around you with each dollar you send. In a sense, you are “voting” for what you believe in based on how your purchases affect the lives of others.
Where You can Buy Fair Trade Products
With the ease of technology and the click of a mouse, it has never been easier to reach out globally and purchase items at their source. If you want to find items in a store, visit Green America for a complete list of Fair Trade retailers in the United States.
Because Fair Trade is not regulated by any one authority, it is possible that anyone can claim that their organizations are Fair Trade. To avoid being misled, be sure to correctly identify Fair Trade products with the proper form of certifications and brand approvals.
Products You should Only Buy from Fair Trade Companies:
There are a few products that you should always consider buying fair trade due to their origin. They are coffee & tea, chocolate, herbs and spices, cotton and clothing, sugar, quinoa, and produce. It’s easy to make this shift and do your part for a safe and thriving global economy by placing an asterisk beside any item on your shopping list that falls into these categories.