Today is World Fair Trade Day!
Today (May 14, 2022) is World Fair Trade Day. This day falls on the second Saturday in May every year and is organized by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO).
With this action they try to make people aware of the exploitation of small-scale farms. These people work under miserable conditions and earn too little to escape poverty.
What is Fair Trade?
In reality, we see that "fair trade" is not so obvious. This is partly due to the large companies and supermarkets using their power to push down purchase prices as much as possible, even below the cost of production. This leads to unfair trade.
Because of this unfair trade, many farmers and workers in developing countries live in poverty. If we want fair trade, companies must respect human rights. Profit is allowed, but not at the expense of people.
No doubt you've seen them already. The labels like "Fair Trade" and "Rainforest Alliance".
And it is true that a jar of chocolate spread with this label will often be more expensive than another one. But by buying a product with this seal, you are sending the supermarkets a message that you care about sustainability and fair trade.
If you buy a product with a Fair Trade logo, you know that...
- You pay a minimum price, with which the farmer can pay the costs of production. The minimum price prevents the farmer from making a loss if the price of a product (suddenly) drops.
- You contribute to the cooperative the farmer is a member of. The farmers in the cooperative decide together how to spend that money, such as buying machinery or building a school.
Is an "Organic" product always Fair Trade?
No. And Fair Trade does not always mean organic either. If a product says it is organic, it only means that it meets strict environmental requirements.
Are you also against exploiting people?
Then why not buy fair trade products at least from time to time?