If you’ve been around specialty coffee, chocolate, or tea, you’ve probably seen this term, but here's a more in depth look at what exactly it is.
For most people, Fair Trade is known by the label you find on certain products, which would seemingly garner some attention while shopping, however with so many labels at our disposal, we hardly even notice them anymore.
Fair Trade finds it’s roots from as early as the late 1940’s. I know, crazy. However the first organizations started in the 60’s, in Europe. It mostly started with missionaries bringing back handmade products to sell in European countries to help alleviate the poverty in the areas they were working in.
FairTrade took the scene with coffee in 1973 with small farmers in Guatemala. During this time, Fair trade organizations were formalizing and gathering to create more awareness and advocacy for impoverished producers.
In the 1980’s, a priest working with smallholder coffee farmers in Mexico thought to create a label for Fair Trade coffee. This idea took off and has since become the iconic symbol that has largely influenced ethical purchasing.
Throughout the past sixty years, countless people apart of this movement have been fighting for the ideals of Fair Trade.
Fair Trade is founded on certain ideals and principles that backs the label we’ve all seen. Their main mission is to create opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers with more transparency, accountability, fair wages, good working conditions, and sustainability.
Although coffee and chocolate are the most popular Fair Trade products, they are just two of many. You can find a full list of their products in the US, at their website: http://fairtradeusa.org
So why buy Fair Trade?
As we’ve been exploring how every dollar we spend matters and how to utilize our purchasing power, this is one of the easiest and most important way we can do that!
When we buy Fair Trade products we are voting for a world of justice. A world that does not exploit the poor for the luxuries of the rich. A world with no more child slavery. A world that gives the marginalized a voice. A world that fights against suffering and poverty.
Supporting and purchasing Fair Trade products is one of the most important things we can do in this world and if we all join in this journey together, we can change this world.
For the past 60 years countless people have fought to bring the Fair Trade platform to where it is today. And we in 2017, have the opportunity and are equipped with the tools to make their dreams of a better world into a reality.
World Fair Trade Organization: http://wfto.com