Monday, February 16, 2009
This means that Fairtrade goods are often more expensive than those without the Fairtrade logo. Although people are now arguing that supermarkets are fueling their excessive profits by adding large mark-ups to these products This premium that the producer charges covers the basic food, housing, health and education needs of the local communities in countries such as India and Brazil. The Foundation awards a consumer label, the Fairtrade Mark, to products which meet internationally recognized standards of Fairtrade. It is the only such certification in the UK.
Examples of Fairtrade products:
*Fairtrade Fruit Juice
*Fairtrade Wine and Snacks
The list of goods certified Fairtrade is growing daily as is the range of products available. The co-op changed all their own brand chocolate to Fairtrade a few years ago and now all the other big supermarkets are beginning to move into the Fairtrade market. Nestle have just released a Fairtrade brand. There has been huge controversy over this as many people are asking how a company that is subject to a boycott can pertain to have Fairtrade and therefore ethical principles?
Why buy Fairtrade?
Millions of small farmers around the world cannot get enough money to feed their families, send their children to school or invest just a few pounds into their farm. This is because people want to buy the cheapest goods possible and don't think about the people that working in poor condition and often receive less than £1 per day in wages.
Buying products that display the Fairtrade logo ensures that the producers of products such as tea, coffee and chocolate receive a decent income. Rather than being hit by the ever-changing price of their product on the world market, or being fleeced by a middleman who takes a chunky share of the profits, producers in a Fair Trade scheme are guaranteed a decent, stable price for their produce.
By buying Fair trade products that buy direct from farmers at better prices, consumers are improving the lives of producers all over the world. In Ethiopia, farmers can often get more then twice the price for their fair trade coffee then those that sell it on the open market. This extra money enables the farmers to educate their children and to break the cycle of poverty.
Many people struggle to find a reason not to support Fairtrade. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers. Fair trade is not about charity, it is about settling the imbalance which exists.
How do I know its Fairtrade?
Look for the Fairtrade Mark when you shop and make the choice to support small farmers and workers in the developing world, and encourage your workplace to switch to Fairtrade tea and coffee.