Friday, November 18, 2011
Fair Trade Holidays
The holiday season is here and it is the season of giving - and giving back. This season offers a wonderful opportunity to teach our children many important family values and also to exercise the principles that are important to us. It is a great time to think about fairness and justice, about supporting local farmers, and about empowering others. How? Through fair trade.
What is Fair Trade? According to the Fair Trade Federation, fair trade "is a holistic approach to trade and development that aims to alter the ways in which commerce is conducted, so that trade can empower the poorest of the poor." The principles of fair trade are simple: create opportunities for disadvantaged producers, do not maximize profit at the expense of the producers, pay a fair price, abolish child and forced labor, and encourage sustainable technologies, among others.
Bearing a certification for fair trade means that a product has been produced according to fair trade standards which are designed to support the sustainable development of small-scale producers and agricultural workers in the poorest countries in the world. Buying Fair Trade products is a powerful way to support producers in developing countries. Fair trade helps workers and farmers to earn a decent living and secure a better life for themselves. To find fair trade products, look for a certification on some common household items including: bananas, cocoa/chocolate, coffee, cotton, flowers, honey, sugar, and rice.
Why should we support fair trade? According to Global Exchange, fair trade brings the benefits of trade into the hands of communities that need it most. It sets new social and environmental standards for international companies and demonstrates that trade can indeed be a vehicle for sustainable development. Unfortunately, the benefits of fair trade are not reaching all fair trade farmers because of insufficient demand for their crops. Producers sell an average of 20% of their crop at fair trade terms; the rest goes through the world market at much lower prices. The same story goes for artisans. That is why we need to build a market for fair trade though demand for these products.
How can you bring fair trade into your holiday season? Consider purchasing fair trade products (chocolate, coffee, tea, etc.) for your holiday gatherings and check out Fair Trade USA's Fair Trade Holiday Gift Guide for ideas and suggestions!
And you can win a bag of fair trade samples and treats from Fair Trade USA by helping to spread the word about fair trade! Tweet this blog and come share your tweet url in the comments section for a chance to in! A winner will be randomly chosen and notified on November 30th.
Posted by Mama at Friday, November 18, 2011