What is Fair Trade?
With increasing levels of international trade, it’s hard to believe that poor farmers are only getting poorer. This is because in the business world, profits making almost always precede social responsibility and the one-sided trading practice by large companies leaves millions of farmers and workers being exploited and live in poverty. To survive, they either have to use toxic chemicals to boost yield or leave home for low-waged jobs in the cities. What does it mean? It means that our food quality and our environment are largely compromised when toxic chemicals enter our food chain.
This is a threatening problem, but there are ways we can do to undo the harm and Fair Trade is one solution.
Fair Trade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for small-scale farmers and workers. It is an alternative way of trading that is based on partnership, meaning we get high-quality products while the producers get a fair deal for their hard work.
Key Principles of Fair Trade:
- Farmers are paid a fair price which covers the cost of sustainable production and basic living standard.
- Farmers are encouraged to engage in sustainable farming methods by restricting GMOs and harmful pesticides.
- Safe working conditions. Forced child labour is strictly prohibited.
- Women are encouraged to take up roles in farmer groups.
- Farmer groups receive social premiums to invest in community development projects.
Change is possible!
As consumers, we have the ability to make a difference as our buying preference sends a strong signal to large corporations. Change your consumption habits, adopt ethical choices by buying products that are made without harming or exploiting humans, animals and our nature.
For example, buying cheap products made in sweatshops is a vote for worker exploitation. Buying Fairtrade products is a vote for human rights. Buying organic products is a vote for environmental protection. By spending our money in an ethical way, we are voting for a change.
Each purchase, no matter how small, be it coffee or tea or just a bar of chocolate, is a vote on something. Be an ethical consumer, start making your vote count today!
How Can You Become a Change Agent?
Everyone can become a change agent by following 3 simple steps:
- Buy – each time you buy a Fair Trade product, you are making a change.
- Inspire – inspire and encourage those around you to adopt a new shopping habit.
- Gift – each time you send a Fair Trade gift to your friends or clients, you are spreading the Fair Trade message.
One person makes a small difference, together we can make a big change. Join us in the Fair Trade movement because we believe ethical consumption is the future!