Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why Fair Trade?

You may not realize it, but the little Fair Trade Certified label you see on some packages brings benefits to the people who work to produce what's inside. The fact is, when you buy Fair Trade products, your supporting sustainable and equitable business practices all over the world. Fair Trade certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by allowing them to invest in their own farms and communities, and by helping them develop the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace. These workers are guaranteed above-market prices and wages, plus an additional "premium payment" which they can invest in projects that create measurable benefits for their communities.

And since Fair Trade certification ensures that farms have compiled with rigorous environmental standards - which govern crucial elements of farming like pesticidal use, water conservation, wastewater treatment, and ecosystem protection - farmers and growers have a chance to become true stewards of their land. They learn to use sustainable processing methods that strictly limit or eliminate the use of agrochemical and drastically reduce other threats to the environment.

There are many wonderful success stories from Fair Trade farms all over the world. At the Agrogana Farm in Ecuador, flower growers have developed a housing fund, computer training courses and a scholarship for their children. Tea growers in Sri Lanka were able to buy a new ambulance for the community. Cocoa farmers in Belize bought schoolbooks and uniforms for their kids. In other words, by choosing Fair Trade Certified products today, we allow thousands of hard-working people across the globe to lead fuller, healthier lives, and to create communities that will thrive in a competitive global economy.

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