From nuts& oils to tea& coffees to hand-made bag/ purses& jewellery, many products are grown and produced in developing countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Caribbean, etc. We consume these products and often take for granted the hard labour and struggles that the peoples who produced these products endured. Large corporations enter countries such as Tanzania, Bali or Guatemala where farmers and artisans are approached to trade/produce their crops or hand-made items but unfortunately prices, environmental and safety standards are not reflective of the true value of the goods from these poorer countries. As North Americans we can take a great advantage of obtaining these unique and delicious products at a fraction of what they are really worth. In addition rich companies go into these under-developed countries and not only reap large profits but also introduce chemicals to the farmers/artisans such as herbicides, pesticides, chemicals and unsafe manufacturing methods that not only harm the health of the native people but eventually pollute their pristine waters and soils.
Fair Trade Certification is:
- A minimum price is guaranteed to farmers and workers
- Funding for community development
- Sustainable environmental practices
- Support small farm cooperatives
- International Labour Organization Standards
- More direct trade relationships…longer and meaningful
Fair Trade helps the people themselves but also helps to ensure the environment of these countries is not being abused by overproduction and pollutants, ensuring a sustainable future. Therefore the next time you sip your morning coffee or sip your afternoon tea and nibble on that chocolate bar…..enquire if their source has been obtained under Fair Trade practices. If it was, you’ve just made life a little sweeter!
The Ninety Ninth Monkey supports Fair Trade!