In the U.S., most of us take fair trade for granted. Our local farmers can come to our local market and request a price that reflects our economy’s supply and demand, pays for their raw materials and labor, and offers them a profit margin. In many developing countries, farmers earn a fraction of what an American farmer might earn.
But Fair Trade is about more than money. It targets poverty, climate change, and economic crisis.
From Fair Trade Your Supermarket: “Fair Trade is a system of exchange that honors producers, communities, consumers, and the environment. Fair Trade helps ensure that farmers and artisans throughout the developing world receive a fair price for their products, have direct involvement in the marketplace, and uphold environmental and labor rights standards. The system builds real and lasting relationships between producers in developing countries and businesses and consumers around the world.”
The principles of Fair Trade include:
Fair Trade food products available in the U.S. include: coffee, tea, cocoa, fruit, sugar, honey, rice, quinoa, vanilla, olive oil, honey, flowers, spices, and wine. There are a number of ways to find them:
TransFairUSA.org: a third-party certifier for Fair Trade products imported to the United States
Fair Trade Federation: an organization of fully-committed Fair Trade businesses
Fair Trade Labelling Organizations International (FLO): a network of organizations whose role is to develop and review Fair Trade standards for certification
World Fair Trade Organization: a global network businesses and organizations that are fully committed to the principles of Fair Trade
World Fair Trade Day 2010–the second Saturday in May–is celebrated through hundreds of events in more than 70 countries around the world. It’s about Fair Trade, about people, organizations, producers, consumers, supporters and all those who share its goals. It’s a day for individuals to draw attention to effect change in their community and the world through Fair Trade.
On World Fair Trade Day, millions of people celebrate and seek change by voicing their support for Fair Trade and attending a World Fair Trade Day event. By banding together, we can improve the lives of small producers, farmers and artisans, around the world.
Did you attend an event today? If so, I’d love to hear about it!