The Fair Trade Movement

Over the past years, the world has become globalized in a way where we as consumers can get the products we want, whenever we want it, and where we want it. Products come from anywhere and everywhere. Just look at the average person’s spice rack; pepper picked from Indonesia can be right beside salt from the Mediterranean, cinnamon from ceylon, paprika originating in Hungary, and olive oil from Italy. The food we stock our cabinets and refrigerators with could have traveled oceans to get to where they are now and we don’t even know it. Do we really know where the food on our plates have come from? We can probably figure out the country our food comes from easily if we just take a moment to check, but can we know who made it? Which farm it’s from? If it was produced ethically?

 

We’re probably just guessing and hoping for the best most of the time. More often than not, the food we eat isn’t completely ethically produced, unless you harvest your own fruits and veggies maybe. So how can we know that the food we buy isn’t damaging the earth and destroying people? Well, providing people with a way to ‘know’ that their food is beneficial to not only themselves but to others is the point of fair trade. That little sticker on the box of chocolates or carton of eggs you just picked up from your local supermarket means a lot. Fair Trade is trying to assure people that there are better products available.

 

When you buy Fair Trade, you’re buying into others’ futures. Lot’s of workers are being undercut right now by middle men and being paid unfair wages for their labour. Fair trade does its best to ensure the products it promotes are from manufacturing units that produce the produce in a way that doesn’t undermine and underpay the workers while keeping good standards for the earth’s wellbeing.

 

When you buy Fair Trade, you’re buying into the environment’s health. Many of the products we consume regularly are produced in ways that have detrimental effects on our planet. The way plants are grown can be depriving the soil its grown on of beneficial minerals, leaving the land barren. Fair Trade attempts to only support farms and other productions that do not harm the environment or at least does minimal damage through their actions.

 

Fair Trade does make mistakes sometimes, but they usually correct them as soon as these mistakes come to light. Their standards are checked upon regularly to ensure the ethics of Fair Trade are being followed.

 

The Fair Trade movement is a way of life – a choice. It’s a choice to live with less negative impact on the world. What if we, as consumers, could turn our negative impact into beneficial actions instead. We would have to be much more conscious of the effects our actions have. We probably wouldn’t just buy products off the supermarket shelf that we have no idea where they originated from. We would choose environmentally better foods over our regular snacks. We would choose commodities that empowered others.

 

The Fair Trade movement isn’t perfect, but it’s a step closer to our goal of living for others and not solely for ourselves.

 

Find out more about Fair Trade here: http://www.fta.org.au/

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