What is a Fair Trade food or Product?
Fair Trade is a system of exchange that honors producers, communities, consumers, and the environment. It is a model for the global economy rooted in people-to-people connections, justice, and sustainability.
TransFair USA Fair Trade LogoFor Fair Trade Certified™ products, a base price for the commodity is set by the international Fair Trade Labeling Organization.
The price attempts to cover the cost of production and a living wage to cover the basics of food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care.
Importers and retailers are then screened and certified by TransFair USA to ensure that they are paying the Fair Trade price for products.
Fair Trade importers purchase from Fair Trade cooperatives as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
The certification also secures long-term, stable relationships between producers and importers.
Fair trade is beneficial for all of those involved, since it provides safety and accountability for the consumer and security and decent wages for the producer. Fair trade also fosters environmental stewardship, values traditional cultures, promotes democracy and educates consumers.
A variety of fair trade foods are available on the market and many can be found in your local area:
- Fair trade coffee and teas are some of the most widely-available fair trade food items ? check your local coffee shops and ask if they carry fair trade coffee or tea.
- Fair trade chocolate and cocoa are also growing in availability and may be in your region. Also check out echocolates.com for more fair trade chocolate.
- Check out the Fair Trade Federation’s list of fair trade retailers, wholesalers and producers and Global Exchange’s list of Retail Outlets.
- While you’re at it, look at Global Exchange’s paper, Ten Things You Can Do for Fair Trade Farmers.
Fair Trade Resources
- Fair Trade Federation
- Global Exchange.
- Oxfam America’s Fair Trade Coffee Campaign
- TransFair USA