What is Fair Trade and Why Should I Buy Fair Trade Products?
While the phrase “fair trade” may seem to be a recent one, the fair trade movement actually began over seventy years ago! Fair Trade is a social movement that promotes and encourages environmental and economic sustainability in developing countries around the world. Advocates of fair trade focus on the business terms and conditions for exports from developing countries throughout Africa, South America, South Asia and the Middle East to the United States, Canada, and Europe. There is a very wide range of items and products that are frequently found labeled as Fair Trade including crafts, cocoa, tea, coffee, sugar, honey, cotton, bananas, oranges, beans, wine, dried fruits and vegetables, juices, nuts, oils, seeds, quinoa, rice, spices, and precious metals. However, the list of fair trade items is always expanding as more consumers demand that the food items and products they buy are generated fairly and without causing unnecessary harm or suffering to workers in other countries.
In the United States, many young people were introduced to the Fair Trade movement through the Whole Earth Catalog which was first published in 1968. The Whole Earth Catalog was the first organization to rally against corporate retail and department stores. Supporters of the Catalog were allowed to directly purchase environmentally sensitive and sustainable goods produced in the United States, Canada, and Central and South America.
Similar to organic and cruelty-free products, Fairtrade brands and products can achieve a specific certification. A few of the long-term, reputable certificating groups are Fairtrade International, Eco-Social, and Fair Trade USA.
Fair Trade Certified is a certification system that allows consumers to identify goods which meet global fair trade standards. Standard are established and monitored by FLO International and requires producers and traders of fair trade goods to agree to routine independent auditing. This involves everything from ensuring that crops are grown and harvested following international Fair trade regulations, to following the complete supply chain to ensure that fair trade integrity is upheld at every step of the manufacturing, sales, and distribution process.
No only does Fairtrade certification help to provide a fair price for goods and services but it also helps to reinforce the practice of ethical purchasing. Ethical purchasing and fair trade work together hand in hand to ensure that child and slave labor is eradicated, that workplace safety is emphasized, that employees are provided the right to establish labor unions if they so choose, and that human rights, community development, and environmental protection are valued and respected. Establishing Fairtrade business relationships also helps to create long term, sustainable practices between buyers and sellers and allows consumers a greater level of corporate transparency into each stage of the product supply chain.
The Fair trade designation and certification can be granted to individual farmers, farming cooperatives, or any other organizing body that represents the interests of the people performing the work of growing food, manufacturing products, or creating native crafts.
At Living Eden we make every effort to show love and respect to all people. Carrying Fair Trade products is important to us as we believe no person, group of workers, or country should suffer simply for the benefit of another country. The products available at Living Eden and through our online store aim to provide shoppers with high-quality Fair Trade items that are delicious, beautiful, and safe to introduce into your home and family environment.