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Why Fair Trade?

Dana Cutolo

So, what is Fair Trade? This is how a simple google search defines it - Fair Trade products are food or crafts that are produced under standards designed to end and prevent the poverty, sweatshop labor conditions, environmental degradation, etc that are endemic to the free trade “race to the bottom” that puts profits above people and the planet.

Now let's break this concept apart - we can change the world by simply sourcing our products better. The simplest switch can make a world of difference, and honestly if that isn't empowering, then what is? -- Think about it.. you should be concerned about the ingredients in your products + food, we know this now. Big companies want to turn a profit, so in traditional business practice this means sourcing cheaper ingredients, cheaper labor and even fillers (why use a high quality ingredient if you can use a cheap, harmful ingredient that nobody will care to argue about?.. more money in big exec pockets, right?). We can hardly blame companies for doing this, who wouldn't want more money when nobody will stop buying the product, even if it harms their health and planet? We should blame ourselves - we are responsible for our health and the health of our planet.

Now we don't only have the power to change our personal health when we shift to better quality products, but we have the power to change the rampant global poverty, to give opportunity to those who otherwise would not be able to access a global market selling their goods - this is empowering, to us as consumers and those who are producers - does this make sense? 


There is a lot of debate around the label of Fair Trade - I know. But where there is good intention there is often also people who want to take advantage as well.. that is human nature (unjustified, still). There are some companies who use Fair Trade as a marketing scheme - who use the good intentions of their customers to win more $$$. Unfair, of course. But not every company is this way, which is why it's important to look thoroughly. Companies like Madecasse Chocolate do amazing things - and they have 4x (.. yeah, FOUR TIMES) the impact of fair trade because they entire product is made in Madagascar, thus employing more Malagasy workers. 


So basically, 

            quality // healthy // whole ingredients + job opportunity in rural regions = 
                              an excellent product both physically and socially ! 


Below I compiled some articles and videos - for anyone who is just learning about these ideas, the first video is completely relatable and AMAZING, so definitely watch and pass it along.

Some Articles for Further Reading - Click on each
'Fair Trade' via Wikipedia

Fair World Project - How do you know it's really Fair Trade?