by Julia Ward
In my opinion, fair trade is just that. The fair trade market itself has been progressing and becoming more popular but because of its popularity, it has attracted not just individuals, but communities and organizations to make it become more of a movement.
By buying products that have a label saying “Fair Trade Certified”, you are guaranteed that the money from buying this product will go to where it belongs. Instead of being consumed by the large companies that tend to act as vacuums and take all of the money for themselves, a large amount of the profit is given back to where the product’s life began. This money helps to vitalize developing countries, reduce exploitation, and promote environmental sustainability.
Many products on the market today have Fair-Trade labels on them. Consumers have the option to buy certain products under Fair Trade such as tea, cocoa, vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, coffee, sugar, and wine. Coffee beans are usually produced in small villages, where farmers rely on the these beans and will take any sum of money from the middlemen, especially during tough economic times. These middlemen usually offer cash for the farmers’ coffee at only a fraction of the price that the coffee is worth. The small villages where the coffee beans are harvested, are left in the dust. Many of the major brands that we buy today are often the worst in terms of exploiting workers and taking the money away from the people who really deserve it.
But, this is where Fair Trade comes in. Fair Trade offers farmers a minimum selling price and links farmers directly with importers, instead of the middlemen. By receiving this harvest price, the farmers can then allow them to practice sustainable agriculture. In addition, they can also build a relationship with the importers, one that promotes long-term sustainability. Instead of being pushed to the side, the farming families become the forefront and are able to use the money they make to provide for better sustainability and also help their families and friends survive in these depleted areas.
By buying Fair Trade products, basically everyone involved benefits drastically. From the farmers, to the workers, consumers, the particular industry, the economy, and the earth all the reap rewards. But, I believe the idea behind Fair Trade is not well known to all. By educating inspiring the consumers themselves, Fair Trade will become more of a priority. In many countries around Great Britain the ideas behind Fair Trade have taken over communities and have become movements in a sense. As consumers, by inspiring others to take Fair Trade into account and purchase products with the certification, all involved will benefit.