“The Fair Trade movement is growing as people realize that they can help alleviate poverty and protect the environment by choosing Fair Trade products.”
-Robert Alan Silverstein, artist and activist
The Fair Trade Difference
If you’ve ever read the phrase “Fair Trade Certified” on a label, you may have wondered what difference these three words make. Fair trade organizations work for economic equality for artisans, entrepreneurs, and workers in developing countries. They uphold production methods that preserve our natural resources and benefit producers. This article answers the question, “Why buy fair trade?” and outlines several fundamental ways that spending money with fair trade companies makes a valuable difference.
Why Buy Fair Trade?
Fair trade means doing business with businesses and workers in developing countries in a way that is fair and beneficial to them. This means workers labor in a safe environment and receive a fair wage for their time and effort . In an effort to reverse low cost sweat-shop ethics, fair trade companies may also help workers and producers with other necessities such as clothing, education, and micro loans.
Fair trade companies also strive to use ethical standards that preserve natural resources. With a savvy business strategy that benefits workers and the environment, fair trade businesses aim to have little to no negative impact on the regions in which they work.
Buy Fair Trade and Benefit Producers Directly
In fair trade business there is no middle man. Fair trade artisans, business people, and workers deal directly with a fair trade organization. According to the Fair Trade Federation , their goal is to benefit the people they work with, not maximize profit. By eliminating brokers and other middlemen, fair trade organizations are able to return up to forty percent of an item’s retail price to the person who produced it.
By offering workers in developing countries a fair wage and safe work environment, utilizing sustainable production methods, and developing a worker beneficial business model, fair trade companies strive to make a positive difference. When you vote for this business model with your dollars, you support a just global community.
“Any definition of a culture of peace must address the problem of achieving justice for communities and individuals who do not have the means to compete or cope without structured assistance and compassionate help.” – Mahnaz Afkhami, founder and president of Women’s Learning Partnership
This article was originally published as a blog post at www.AsanteGeorge.com entitled Why Buy Fair Trade? Compelling Reasons to Invest in Ethical Business
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