Decoding ‘Fair Trade’

Fair trade products

“Fair Trade” is a term that is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, Fair Trade Certified products in the U.S. accounted for an estimated $1.1 billion in 2008, according to TransFair USA.

But what does “Fair Trade” really mean?

The Fair Trade Label guarantees products have been manufactured under strict social, economical and environmental guidelines.

Dideon recently bought a present for him and his family to celebrate his success at work: a cow. A prized asset in Rwanda, this cow provides milk for his wife and three children with enough left over to sell at the local market for extra income. He uses the cow’s manure for composting, which makes his soil even richer. Dideon is a Fair Trade coffee farmer in Rwanda. Photo: Fair Trade Certified via Facebook

Dideon, a Fair Trade coffee farmer in Rwanda, recently bought a present for himself and his family to celebrate his success at work: a cow. He uses the cow’s manure for composting, which makes his soil even richer. Photo: Fair Trade Certified via Facebook

Certifications in the U.S. are currently available for coffee, tea and herbs, cocoa and chocolate, fresh fruit, flowers, sugar, rice and vanilla.

Throughout the month of October, companies are linking up with community organizations, student groups, faith-based initiatives and other non-profits to raise awareness of Fair Trade Certified products and the farmers and farm workers who produce these items.

Transfair USA is also celebrating Fair Trade Month with its “31 Days, 31 Ways” campaign. Each day, TransFair USA will post a new fact about Fair Trade and a simple way in which consumers can support it. The organization is also giving away prizes via Twitter (@fairtradeusa).

“By dedicating an entire month to promoting Fair Trade Certified products, we help to grow product sales, which benefits retailers, companies with licensed products, and most importantly, farmers and farm workers around the world,” said Paul Rice, president and CEO of TransFair USA. “This is a great example of how our individual purchasing power can empower farmers from some of the world’s poorest countries.”

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Comments

  1. As time goes on, it will be interesting to see which ideals become more prevalent, particularly in the food industries: fair trade, local/sustainable, or organic.

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