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A LOOK AT FAIR TRADE

A lot of people wonder how fair trade is mixed in with the green attitude and sustainable lifestyle. According to Wikipedia’s definition, “fair trade is an organized social movement and market based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries and promote sustainability”. If you haven’t experienced any A-HA moments yet trying to understand fair trade system, don’t worry, we’re about to dive a little deeper.

My best definition would be along the lines of paying a just and fair amount for products rather than taking advantage of the economic situation of where that product is coming from. It is a system of trade where living wages and employment opportunities are offered for the goods that are produced in developing countries. Fair trade is an equal exchange program where the money you pay for a product reaches the communities delivering it. Basically, it is a way for you to know that the money you are spend on products of fair trade are not being intercepted by middlemen but actually reach the people growing it.

Goods, such as chocolate or coffee can be certified by fair trade by organizations like Fair Trade Labeling Organization which affiliates in 17 countries. Producers partner up with international organizations that help them build better skills to market and sell goods. All products that meet fair trade standards do so under strict values that will benefit the people and country the products come from.

So now that you know a little bit more about fair trade products, look for them in your local supermarket, food co-op or café. Perhaps you work somewhere where you can support fair trade products and we highly encourage you to do so. Remember that your actions as a buyer support or discourage actions by businesses. By becoming a conscious consumer you are making the decision to provide better standards of living for artisans all over the world, which is especially important in developing countries.

Plus, it is just another way of knowing that the businesses you support are doing their part in creating a better tomorrow for people who may less fortunate. Hopefully, this helps you understand the need to support fair trade and what it does for our interdependent earth, look for the Fair Trade icon for products that are committed to helping developing countries.

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