Fair Trade

Ultima modifica 22 Gennaio 2018


This week I’d like to draw our readers’ attention to Fair Trade.

The basic products that we all take for granted and include in our regular shopping trolley such as coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, honey, fresh fruit, bananas, chocolate and others like cotton, silk, wine, flowers, gold, leather goods and so on, have probably passed through the hands of men, women and children who cannot afford to buy much of the food or the finery that they are producing.

The produce will have been passed to a middle man or agent and on to the exporter, to the importer, to the agent, to the distributor in the purchasing country all of whom must  have a share in the profit margin and finally to the consumer. When goods from developing countries reach our supermarkets they are inevitably costly but the original producer or supplier sees very little of this inflated shop price.

What is Fair Trade? 

Basically it’s an organized international social movement that aims to help farmers in developing countries create better production and trading conditions and promote sustainability. It also aims at reducing the number of links in the supply chain and keeping prices competitive for the final consumer.

The Movement started in Holland in 1988 to combat the exploitation of coffee producers in the ex-Dutch colonies and it has since spread to most developed countries. It’s quite interesting to read up on this growth at www.fairtrade.net or at www.fairtradeitalia.it

What does Fair Trade have to do with you and me?

There are many shops and stores that specialize in products with the Fair Trade logo. However, the organizers are realizing that the vast majority of people are creatures of habit and going out of the way to shop in these specialized outlets is unlikely to become a habit for shoppers. So for the future they envisage the large supermarkets and malls stocking more Fair Trade products, giving these products high visibility and using cutting edge marketing and advertising strategies to increase sales and to innovate the product range..

How can I play my part?

1. Be aware that the Fair Trade Organization exists.

2. Look for the Fair Trade logo on products that are imported from developing countries.

3. Ask around and find a supermarket near you that promotes Fair Trade.

4. Use your access to the web to promote awareness.

4. Tell your kids about the idea of Fair Trade. They need to know that the world is not just full of the images of starving children they see on TV screens and that there are people out there who are helping people improve their lives.

5. Think about how you could ensure that even 1% of your shopping has a Fair Trade logo.

Can I really make a difference?

I love the expression The Power of One as in the power that a group or community has when each individual makes one, small, seemingly insignificant move that impacts enormously on the dynamics of the  group.  This summaries the philosophy behind the Fair Trade Movement.

The 2nd Saturday in May each year is World Fair Trade Day,  an international celebration and promotion of Fair Trade. Events are held in over 80 countries and participation is growing in both developed and developing countries. This year the 12th WFTO Biennial Conference was held in Rio de Janeiro-Brazil. Rio has been nominated The Global Fair Trade Capital and, during the celebrations, the Brazilian government announced the beginning of the new campaign “Fair Trade Beyond 2015”.

Good luck Rio! Fair Trade to you!

Frances Fahy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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