Fair Trade. You have probably heard the phrase floating around for years - you may even buy Fair Trade products - but what you may not know is what are the true differences and what the benefits are. Here are seven of the best reasons to go fair.
Fair trade means vulnerable farmers and producers are able to make a fair wage. Small-scale producers of tea and coffee, for example, are often among the lowest paid, and disadvantaged women skilled in making handmade goods have no opportunity to sell them for what they are worth. When you support fair trade, you ensure producers are getting the money they deserve for the products they make, and creating opportunities to help bring them out of poverty and benefit whole communities.
Women in developing countries often work the longest hours in the harshest conditions for the lowest pay. Children, too, labor alongside their parents to provide needed income for the family. Fair trade means that there is no forced labor, no child labor, and that conditions and pay are fair for everyone doing the work.
You have no doubt heard the phrase “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. That is exactly the principle of fair trade - it empowers the people making the goods and teaches them how to build sustainable businesses. The profits go to the producers themselves, and in turn families and whole communities are benefited. Earnings invested back into the communities provide important health and education programs that would otherwise be lacking.
Modern production methods often use chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to workers in the fields but with fair trade the producers use ethical and sustainable farming methods and often use organic farming methods. The environment is protected and the workers health is improved.
Fair trade respects the culture of the artisan producers so Fair Trade companies often incorporate cultural designs and traditions into the products they order from the artisans. This might include a special weaving method, unique local materials for the products or traditional designs from the artisan’s country. You can shop all around the world without stepping outside.