World Consumer Rights Day is recognized every year on March 15th as a means to raise awareness about consumer’s needs and rights. Being that one of our core beliefs is that all people have a right to healthy, safe foods and quality services, we wanted to take this opportunity to speak about Fair Trade.
So.. What is Fair Trade and Why is it Important?
We’ve all heard the term “Fair Trade” and probably have seen the “Fair Trade Certified” seal plastered along the top shelf items at grocery stores. But what exactly is fair trade? As defined by the WFTO:
“Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair Trade organisations have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.”
Let’s break this down into layman’s terms: Today’s global market enables—often encourages—compromise at the expense of farmers, workers, and fishermen. When you buy fair trade products, you are ensuring that your money goes towards the fair treatment of the producers of your product. Not only do workers benefit from this model, but as consumers you are ensured the safety and quality of your products. And that is exactly why it is so important. Fair Trade breeds a positive experience for everyone involved by providing these values:
Income Sustainability: Earnings should fulfill basic household needs, regardless of volatile market prices. In many of these countries where these types of products are imported from, the governments do not have standards in place that ensure these workers proper compensation. In fact, there are huge gaps between what we as consumers pay for goods and what the producers themselves receive for their labor, and that is what makes the Fair Trade Model so innovative and beneficial.
Empowerment: Fair Trade empowers people to make choices for the good of themselves and their community, regardless of gender, status, position in society, or position on the globe. Rigorous standards give farmers, workers, and fishermen a voice in the workplace and the community.
Individual and Community Well-Being: When people have the capacity to invest in better futures, the result is a healthier workforce and ultimately higher quality goods. The model is fueled by committees of farmers, workers, and fishermen who decide how to invest the Fair Trade Premium based on their community’s greatest needs: often clean water, education, and healthcare.
Environmental stewardship: Environmental practices have long-term impacts on the livelihoods of producers, communities, and the planet. The Fair Trade standards work to keep the planet healthy for generations to come by prohibiting the most harmful chemicals and taking measures to protect natural resources. When buying Fair Trade sealed products, you are ensuring that your money goes to a good cause and that your products are healthy for consumption.
SmartBox Company is a proud supplier of many various Fair Trade products. We’re proud of our commitment to this movement. By scheduling a demo with us today, you can learn more about how our products can help you make better and more impactful decisions on a daily basis.