Join us in celebrating Fair Trade Day on May 13th. If you don’t know what fair trade is or why buying fair trade products is a good idea, you came to the right place.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade products promote fair treatment for workers, especially those who have been historically mistreated by the production process. When you buy fair trade products, you support manufacturers that have agreed to treat their workers a certain way. This agreement may include protection against wage theft, livable wages, an active sexual harassment and abuse policy, or even sustainable environmental practices.
Food manufacturers and producers of popular food items from developing countries may sign a fair trade agreement. They do this in order to indicate their commitment to ethical business practices. Popular fair trade items include coffee, chocolate, bananas, and avocados. Fair trade items can also be the result of workers’ cooperatives that create cultural accessories such as purses or backpacks.
History of Fair Trade
The Fair Trade movement began in Europe in the 1960s. University students questioning the negative effects of capitalism sought out opportunities to buy products from multinational companies that treated their workers ethically. These students focused on the fair treatment of workers who interacted with products in their earliest stages such as fruit harvesters. The Alternative Trading Organization began in 1965. By the 1970s, there was a grassroots movement to purchase products from countries that were being excluded from the international market for political reasons. Two examples of such countries are Nicaragua and Angola.
Buying Fair Trade
You can purchase Fair Trade items both in-person and online. If you purchase food items produced under fair trade agreements, a label or sticker indicates this guarantee. You’ve probably seen this label on chocolate or coffee before if you shop at natural and health food stores. If you’re buying art or clothing items, fair trade information can be found in the product description. Two of our favorite Fair Trade organizations are Noonday Collection and Ten Thousand Villages. Additionally, personal online shops like Etsy are also great places to shop for fair trade handicrafts.
This Fair Trade Day do your part by supporting workers’ rights, as well as equal treatment.
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