What Does Fairtrade Mean?

More and more, you’ll notice a little colourful icon on our products. It’s blue, and it’s green, and it features a tiny genderless human waving. Or a bird trying to eat the word “Fairtrade” below. Well, whatever it looks like to you, this is it:

Fairtrade

What is it? Where did it come from? Is it a bird, or a human, or a black sunrise over a black river? We many never know the answer to that last one, but let’s see if we can break down the rest.

What does “Fairtrade” mean?

Firstly, Fairtrade is all about the origin of the ingredients in a product. It looks after the farmers who grew the ingredients, and the workers involved in the process. This means that workers were paid a fair wage for their work, that their rights are protected, and that their health is looked after.

In addition, it benefits small farmers – particularly those who grow cotton, coffee, rice, and cocoa. For these crops, only small farms can receive certification. This gives them income stability to improve their livelihood.

  • Fairtrade is 50% owned by producers representing farmers & workers
  • the “Fairtrade Minimum Price” covers the cost of sustainable production of a specific crop in a specific region
  • “Fairtrade Premium” is an additional sum that goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers, which they can use for education, health, community infrastructure, or building the business

Wind Turbine

How Does Fairtrade Protect The Environment?

In addition to putting the people first, Fairtrade also works to protect the environment. They have standards in place and promote training for farmers to help ensure those standards are being met. The goal is to introduce sustainable farming – farming that protects the environment, the crop, the people doing the farming, and the animals involved in the process.

Sustainable farming protects the environment by:

  • producing crops without the use of synthetic fertilizers or toxic chemical pesticides
  • improving soil and water quality
  • encouraging biodiversity
  • training farmers to adapt to climate change
  • supporting the transition to organic farming practices (over 50% of their ¬†certified products are also certified organic)

Potato

Why Should You Choose Fairtrade Certified Products?

Continuing on from the UN Millennium Development Goals, Fairtrade follows the Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals to end poverty, fight inequality, and protect the environment. The goals on which they focus include:

  • End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
  • Ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns
  • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

So, to sum it all up, buying foods that have been certified Fairtrade supports sustainable farming, helps combat climate change, and makes the world a better place for those in developing countries. Next time you’re shopping, look for the symbol on the foods you purchase. That bar of chocolate can make a world of difference.

 

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