Happy World Fair Trade Day!
According to FINE, an informal association made up of the four major fair trade networks (FLO, WFTO, NEWS!, and EFTA), fair trade can be defined as:
“a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South” – (FINE, 1998)
The Fair Trade Resource Network has put out a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Buy Fair Trade which really helps society to understand the basic reasons to support fair trade business. Some of my favourite points are that fair trade initiatives protect children and their right to security, education and play, keeping them out of sweatshops and production plants. I love that fair trade supports community schools, housing, healthcare, and eco-friendly farming practices.
Point number 10 on this list really drives home the point:
“Fair Trade means what you buy matters. By choosing fair trade products, you are not only accessing high quality products, you are making a difference in the lives of the people who grow and craft the products.”
Yes, we all know that fair trade goods come at a higher price and sometimes it’s not always easy to justify paying a bit more for a product. The way that I see it is that instead of putting in a little donation here and there to a charity at a store checkout, you are putting those extra dollars toward helping a farmer and their community. Plus you get a little instant gratification for yourself too. Whether it’s a bar of fair trade chocolate, or that body lotion made with fair trade Shea Butter, it’s something that benefits you now, and benefits the bottom line later.
terra20, North America’s largest eco store, carries many different fair trade certified products. In fact, they believe in equity, and do their best to support fair trade initiatives by sourcing products made with fair trade ingredients. All of their fair trade products are labeled with a Fair Trade icon.
Here are a few fair trade products from terra20:
Next time you’re making smores at the campfire this summer, substitute your conventional chocolate bar with something fair trade. I highly recommend Camino’s fair trade Dark Chocolate with Orange bar. It melts really nicely and the orange taste gives an extra kick!
I love the versatility of coconut oil since it can be used for cooking, baking, body care and more. It is also a popular ingredient in skin care products, which makes it important to source coconut oil that is sustainable, organic and fair trade. Dr. Bronner’s has a variety of soaps, and personal care products made with certified fair trade ingredients as well as pure whole kernel virgin coconut oil.
Next time you’re out shopping, try to find some fair trade certified products. Look for a certification stamp on food, personal care and several other products at the local market. You’ll feel good about buying a product that is helping someone else around the world.
*Disclosure: Please note that I am an employee of terra20 and that all opinions expressed in this post as well my other posts are my own.