In Brief: Fair Trade

By Carolina Luna

“Fair Trade” has joined “organic” and “green” on the list of feel-good marketing buzzwords. Products labelled Fair Trade purport to pay a living wage to the farmers who grow the product, who are often the poorest part of the supply chain. Most products which earn the Fair Trade badge are carefully vetted, but, as always, buyer beware. Arm yourself with these facts:

Fair Trade goals:

  • Create socioeconomic opportunities to marginalize producers
  • Develop transparency between producers and buyers
  • Pay producers on time and fairly
  • Support safe working conditions
  • Promote environmental responsibility
  • Respect cultural identity

If you are interested in Fair Trade products please visit the following sites. For more sites visit the Fair Trade Federation (FTF) at www.fairtradefederation.org.

Fair trade andean dream logo

Andean Dream — This site offers delicious quinoa products such as cookies, pasta, and soup. Quinoa is a pre-Hispanic food crop from the Andes. It is only grown in the high Bolivian mountains, at an altitude of 13,000 feet. It is considered to be high in protein and contains a balanced set of amino acids. Quinoa is gluten free, no trans fats, and no cholesterol. www.andeandream.com

Fair trade world crafts logo

World Crafts — Established in 1996, WorldCrafts offer hundreds of handcrafted items from more than 30 countries. World Crafts is committed in creating viable employment for women and men in poverty. Both men and women receive job training and develope close bonds with their co-workers, thus building a sense of community. World Crafts also offers a safe haven for women trying to leave prostitution by providing them with counseling. www.worldcrafts.org

fair trade global crafts logo

Global Crafts — Started in 2002, Global Crafts offers opportunities for artisans in developing countries through fair trade practices such as paying in advance the market price for the products, guaranteeing that artisans receive payments, and that they work in healthy and fair working conditions. www.globalcraftsb2b.com

fair trade pueblit logo

Pueblito — This site offers consumers with unique and amazing eco-friendly and fair trade jewelry. All the jewelry is handmade by artisans in South America. The products are made from tagua nut, fish scales, coconut, bamboo, acai, and other biodegradable materials. www.pueblito.ca

fair trade minga logo

Minga Imports — Founded in 1997, Minga Imports works directly with artisans from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Kenya. The materials that some artisans use are acai, ceramic, agate, huayruro, alpaca, bronze, gourd, and many more. Artisans, through fair trade, can invest their earnings in their communities and with their families. www.mingaimports.com

fair trade equal exchange logo

Equal Exchange — Established in 1986, Equal Exchange supports and empowers small farmer co-ops in the global South. By participating with Equal Exchange, consumers can find Fair Trade and Organic coffee, tea, chocolate bars, cocoa, bananas, and almonds. Currently, Equal Exchange works with small farmer organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. www.equalexchange.coop

fair trade saraye logo

Saraye — This site offers costumers beautiful baskets and bags made by Cambodian artisans. Saraye employs over 200 artisans, and each receive three times above the fair trade minimum price. Saraye also provides health care and education support to each artisan. www.saraye.com

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