What is fair trade? Why does it matter? Is it really important?
Many of you have asked and I felt would be helpful to you to address over a series of weeks. Over the next few months, be on the lookout for explanations of fair trade, guest posts, and more on Fair Trade Fridays. Any insights, additions, or helps you know of are welcomed and enjoyed by me!
What is Fair Trade? One of the largest fair trade organizations in the US uses nine principles identify what fair trade is. We have many laws in place here in the US to ensure that we are not exploited, abused, or treated unfairly in our basic human needs. Many people that work do not have that kind of “shield” over them.
What fair trade is:
*A job or income that is not exploitive in any form.
*Good/healthy working conditions.
*Fair wage for the area or community.
*No child labor.
*No slave labor.
*Lifts up women, does not push them down.
*Can include organic items, produce, or products.
These are basic things fair trade includes. There are many resources out there for fair trade (click on fair trade symbols below for a start!). When I first began working in the fair trade industry, I found a fiction book that dealt with fair trade, The Great Divide. It still burns in my memory. Though fictional, it was educational and thought provoking.
There are easy ways to identify if something is fair trade. The most recognized symbols in the US are below and would be on product packaging.
Next week we will learn what fair trade is not.
Please feel free to comment or ask questions you might have about fair trade. I’ll do my best to cover them the next week or in the comments!