Trade With a Conscience
Often referred to as ‘Fair Trade,’ our philosophy of helping to build a sustainable future is based on the principle that trade should have a conscience. Through Fair Trade artisans receive the respect, dignity and hope that comes from working hard and earning fair value for their work.- Ten Thousand Villages information
May 14th is World Fair Trade Day, but start this week trying to find Fair Trade alternatives to things like coffee, tea and chocolate, and be sure to join me and have a Fair Trade coffee on the 14th!
According to Ten Thousand Villages, these are the top 10 reasons why you should support Fair Trade:
- Fair Trade is trade that people can count on. Fair Trade is committed to developing long term business partnerships, ensuring a consistent and reliable source of income for artisans and farmers.
- Fair Trade empowers women. Fair Trade means that women’s work is properly valued and that they are empowered to take leadership within their organizations.
- Fair Trade protects the environment. Fair Trade supports practices that minimize environmental impact by using reclaimed or recycled materials, encouraging organic production and limiting shipment of product by air.
- Fair Trade means fair pay and safe working conditions. Fair Trade products are made by adults working in safe and healthy environments where they receive a fair wage and have a voice in how their workplace is run.
- Fair Trade connects with other cultures. Fair Trade products reflect and preserve the distinct traditions and cultures of the people who make them.
- Fair Trade builds sustainable local economies. Fair Trade gives artisans and farmers control over their future by allowing them to stay in their communities and to build their own businesses.
- Fair Trade supports capacity building. Fair Trade provides a means through which to develop independence, improve management skills and increase access to new markets.
- Fair Trade supports community development. Fair Trade supports workplace structures where workers invest in better housing, healthcare and education for their communities.
- Fair Trade means high quality goods. Trade crafts are often made by hand, allowing artisans to give greater attention to detail and resulting in higher-quality products.
- Fair Trade gives you a choice and a voice. Fair Trade allows you to access high quality products while making a conscious decision to support people who produce the things that you buy.
You can take a look at this list of Fair Trade stories for more information.
There are number of places where you can buy Fair Trade items. Novica has a huge variety of products for the home, food items and more, and is associated with National Geographic. Ten Thousand Villages is based in Canada. I have several pieces from their stores—they offer great wood pieces, linens, and coffee and products. PeopleTree has Fair Trade clothing and accessories.
You may be surprised to find Fair Trade items in stores near you—like your local grocery store. Food items are the easiest to find Fair Trade—TransFairUSA has a good list of just some of the many Fair Trade coffee companies that you should look out for. Their list of cocoa/chocolate products is also good and useful. I reviewed Level Ground Trading (Fair Trade) coffee last holiday season.