Buying Fair Trade Generates More than Good Taste

Author: Meera, October 16, 2014

We all love our local farmers’ markets where the freshest organic ingredients–direct from the farm to our tables–are easy to find and purchase. And they taste so good. But sometimes, we consumers desire something grown beyond America’s borders, such as tea, coffee, exotic spices, and chocolate. And this is where choice and purchasing power has consequences.



When you choose to buy products displaying a FAIR TRADE certification logo, your action directly and positively impacts the lives of farmers, growers, artisan craftspeople, commodities producers, and their workers  in communities in developing nations.




As consumers demand better products and better working conditions for workers, the Fair Trade movement has more clout to lobby on behalf of commodity farmers, impoverished workers, and child laborers.



If you love chocolate, consider this: seventy percent of the world’s cocoa beans is produced in Cote d’Ivoire and other Western African countries. Pay is nominal at $2 USD/per dieum and, according to UNICEF, more than a half million children labor under dire working conditions in the cocoa fields in these bean-producing countries even though child labor is illegal in the cocoa industry.



Coffee was one of the first Fair Trade certified products but today’s consumers can now also find Fair Trade certified cocoa, wine, cotton, fruit, tea, red palm oil, coconut oil and associated products, chocolate, honey, quinoa and other ancient grains, beans, sugar, and bananas, to name a few items.




The Fair Trade Movement has been around since mid last century. It began as a mainly North American/European social movement to aid poor farmers, commodity producers, and laborers in developing nations to achieve more favorable trading conditions. Fair Trade also promotes sustainability.



Choosing to buy a product carrying the Fair Trade certification label means your consumer decision will impact more than your taste buds–it will have positive ramifications for workers, commodity producers, and their communities beyond America’s borders.





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