You may have heard mention of Fair Trade products, or seen the little icon on items at the store and wondered what it meant. Here is a bit more useful information about the how Fair Trade USA works and its many benefits:
Who does Fair Trade benefit?
Fair Trade benefits more than 1.2 million farmers and workers around the world.
- Protects the planet by ensuring that farmers follow internationally monitored environmental standards, while providing financial incentives and resources for organic conversion, reforestation, water conservation and environmental education.
- Builds sustainable businesses by supporting training for rural farmers and allowing them to deal directly with market buyers. Farmers receive Fair Trade premiums for the products they supply, and continually reinvest portions of their revenue. This means farming cooperatives are constantly building their capacities and becoming truly empowered to create change in their communities.
- Empowers women to play an active role in their families and in their co-ops by starting businesses with guaranteed access to health care, certain job rights and freedom from harassment.
- Supports education with revenues set aside to build schools and maintain enrollment.
Fair Trade is built on the following principles:
- Fair price and credit: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum price and an additional premium for certified organic products.
- Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
- Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
- Democratic and transparent organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade premiums.
- Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement and social empowerment trainings, and organic certification.
- Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.
Where can I find Fair Trade Certified products?
Fair Trade Certified products are sold at more than 100,000 locations across the United States, including independent and small-scale supermarkets, cafés and restaurants, as well as well-known retail chains. Consumers should look for the Fair Trade Certified label as they shop, and can visit fairtradeusa.org/products-partners for an updated list of products.
About Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA is the leading independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies that offer Fair Trade Certified products and their international suppliers to guarantee compliance with Fair Trade principles. And as a development agency, Fair Trade USA educates consumers, builds supply chain for Fair Trade products, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the Fair Trade system, and provides farming communities with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople.
Sounds fantastic, right? Let’s show Fair Trade some love!
One winner will receive:
- One Village Coffee
- Alter Eco Chocolate
- Numi Organic Tea
- Lake Champlain Hot Chocolate
- Guittard Chocolate Chips
- prAna Tote Bag
- Frontier All-Natural Vanilla Extract
- Alter Eco Truffles
- Alter Eco Rainbow Quinoa
- SunSpire Fair Trade Organic Baking Bar
To enter, leave a comment on THIS POST and list an ingredient you use commonly that could (and probably should) be replaced with a fair trade certified item.
The Rules: One entry per person, U.S. residents only. Commenting will open Wednesday, December 18 at 4:00 am EST and close on Saturday, December 21 at 10:00 pm EST. Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered. One winner will be selected at random and contacted via email early next week. Good luck!
Full disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Fair Trade USA and Annie’s Eats.