Fairness Tastes Better

“I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.”  –Benjamin Harrison

We’ve all seen Fair Trade products as we browse the grocery store shelves, but do you know what the label means?

It’s a symbol that the product has been certified by a Fair Trade organization as having been produced under a set of principles that include fair labor practices and environmental regulations. Most of the raw materials we consume are grown and harvested by farmers who live in abject poverty. Fair Trade products try to correct some of that imbalance by guaranteeing fair prices, investing in communities to improve quality of life, and insuring fair treatment for the people producing raw goods.

Here’s some more of what you may not know about Fair Trade:

  1. FAIR PRICE & CREDIT FOR GOODS: organized groups of farmers are guaranteed minimum prices and can get credit for harvest before they come in.
  2. FAIR LABOR CONDITIONS FOR WORKERS: Fair Trade workers must have safe working conditions and living wages. No child labor is permitted.
  3. DIRECT TRADE BETWEEN PRODUCERS & SELLERS: steps are taken to eliminate middle-men, so producers are selling directly to consumers.
  4. DEMOCRATIC & TRANSPARENT DECISIONS: the groups of farmers must operate under democratic principles.
  5. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT: companies also contribute community development funds to support education, healthcare and other social services
  6. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN PRODUCTION: only sustainable agriculture practices are used. No GMOs are permitted.

Fair Trade Products:

  • The Major Fair Trade Products:
    • Coffee
    • Bananas
    • Tea
    • Cocoa
    • Sugar
  • New Fair Trade Products:
    • Cotton
    • Vanilla and spices
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Wine and spirits
    • Nuts
    • Oils

Fair Trade Process and FactsSource: The Fairtrade Foundation; Fair Trade USA

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