Everything that is produced has an impact on the land and the people that depend on it.
Producers feel the direct effect the most, and Fair Trade principles are there to make sure that traditionally impoverished and exploited people are not treated poorly.
Fair Trade puts people before profit; it provides a living wage, promotes environmental responsibility to ensure health of families and the land, and keeps children out of production and in school.
It provides the producers a better way of life.
There are a few fundamental ways in which Fair Trade cares for the makers. It insures that farmers are paid an agreed upon minimum price. This prevents growers from potentially devastating drops in their market, unsold crops, it helps them cover the costs of production, and provides a living wage for thousands of people – many of whom who have to survive on just dollars a day.
Working conditions are as important to their quality of life as wage, and also has a more goal impact due to the improvements in environmental standards. Fair Trade promotes the health of the ecosystems they rely on. According to the Fair Trade Certified, over 50% of Fair Trade farmers are certified organic. When compared to the fact that less than 1% of all farmland in the US is organic, you can see it far outpaces domestic adoption.
Along with the health of the ecosystems they work in, there are additional worker protection and benefits. Fair Trade is designed to benefit producers now and in the future. It makes investments in education, confronts inequities in the trade system, it gets kids out of forced labor, reinvests in capacity in local communities, creates access for small scale farmer’s, builds lasting and direct relationships, promotes democratic and transparent ideals, and fights for gender equality. The Fair Trade labels have a lot going for them.
You’re not just buying a banana – you’re investing in all of that too.
Some of the most common Fair Trade items are ones that aren’t easily produced domestically. As noted by the Fair World Project, almost half of the certified products are coffee, with bananas and other fruits making up 22% of the products, cocoa (and chocolate) make up 12%, with sugar, flowers, plants and others making up the rest.
The other category does cover a lot of goods though, and not just food. We have several lines of apparel, and personal care products, and gift items that carry Fair Trade certifications and use goods that conscious consumers can feel good about.
Some of the top brands you’ll find include names like Alaffia, Alter Eco, Dr. Bronner’s, Equal Exchange, Guayaki, and more.
Fair Trade Month is a campaign led by the Fair Trade Certified group, but they are not the only ones. Fair Trade has developed into a global movement. Some groups go further into the requirements to earn their endorsement.
Some notable ones for you to look for and further research follow.
This Fair Trade month, we’re trying to do our small part in raising awareness around the critical issues it addresses, and we invite you to take a few moments to consider the impact your buying choices can have.
We take great pride in offering Only Good Things; products which meet our strict quality standards, promote environmental sustainability, and social good.
Fair Trade meets and exceeds these standards.
Please look for our large selection off Fair Trade certified products the next time you shop.
Become a member of the Castro Valley Natural Grocery mailing list to get exclusive news, happenings, sales info, and more delivered fresh and free to your inbox. Don’t miss out.