Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What does Fair Trade Mean?

If we're lucky, we see the Fair Trade seal when we're shopping for groceries like bananas, coffee, or chocolate. Most of us know it's something good, but what does fair trade certification really mean?

Fair Trade Certified logo (2012 edition)

I visited GreenAmerica.org for an answer:

Fair Trade is a system of exchange that honors producers, communities, consumers, and the environment. It is a model for the global economy rooted in people-to-people connections, justice, and sustainability. When you make Fair Trade purchases you are:
  • supporting a fair price for products paid to farmers and artisans
  • investing in communities (scholarships, women's empowerment initiatives, clinics, etc.)
  • supporting environmentally sustainable production methods
  • increasing the economic power of small scale producers
  • supporting direct trade between importers and farming or artisan cooperatives
  • supporting the enforcement of fair labor conditions (including a ban on child labor)

Awesome! And fair trade isn't just about bananas, coffee, and chocolate. You can find fair trade tea, wine, vodka, crafts, yarn, body care products, clothes, and more. Just in time for Christmas!

I know locally sourced is supertrendy right now-- I support that-- but there are still lots of things we have yet to ween ourselves from that come from far-away places that could use our economic support to improve their standard of living right now.

For more info on fair trade, check out: Green America // FairTradeUSA // Fair Trade Federation

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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