It’s Fair Trade Fortnight! This a great opportunity for us to understand how making more informed choices on the products we buy can have a huge impact on the lives of those less fortunate.
Fairtrade is described by the Fairtrade Association of Australia & NZ (an arm of Fairtrade International) as:
Better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
Fairtrade International have developed a strict global certification process to allow consumers greater confidence when buying products that may have come from areas where working conditions and prices paid for goods can be questionable.
I have worked in India with Oxfam, and Vietnam with CARE Vietnam and I have seen first-hand how the cycle of poverty can grip communities when they are treated unfairly. Why should we have the benefit of paying just $10 for a piece of clothing if it means a family can’t afford to eat? That doesn’t seem very fair does it?
(In a simplified way) here is what can happen without ethical and sustainable supply chains: Continue reading