What's Fair Trade & Why Does It Matter?

Fair Trade is a social movement that’s all about creating a fairer world. Using a market-based approach, Fair Trade works towards alleviating poverty and promoting sustainability on a global level. Through Fair Trade Certification, both farmers and craftspeople around the world are able to receive a fair working wage while creating a safer, supportive work environment.

Beyond ensuring a fair living wage, Fair Trade also protects communities from child labor, complying with national and local laws so that forced labor is a thing of the past. It also provides the training and skills needed for those in situations where education may be lacking, especially guiding widowed women or young women saved from trafficking towards a better future. Fair Trade envisions a world where people look forward to going to work, where children can play without worry of where their next meal will come from, and it sets guidelines that must be met in order for certification to be received. If working conditions are unnecessarily dangerous or employees are receiving unfair treatment, certification cannot be given, and can also be revoked.

Not only does Fair Trade stand for fair work, it also stands for a sustainable world. Many of the products made by Fair Trade crafters are made using recycled materials, such as soda pop cans, newspapers, inner tubes and tires. Some sustainable materials that are popular in the Fair Trade world are the tagua nut, which is very similar in appearance to ivory (minus the cruelty!), and elephant poo, which can make some great paper! Fair Trade also takes strides in encouraging farmers to go GMO-free, although being an organic farm is not a requirement for being Fair Trade, many farmers are taking that route due to education, encouragement, and support from communities at large. The earth is for all of us, and Fair Trade tries to match their everyday work practices with the larger scope of honoring the world around us.

Nobody told you that life would be fair, but let’s be honest, it could be a lot fairer these days. Peace and social justice are a possibility when we all join together to make it so. It’s not so much a belief in utopia, as it is a belief in human rights. We all deserve a brighter future, and Fair Trade Certification makes positive change and sustainable growth something we can choose to support each time we choose to spend our money.

Fair Trade is all about making a stand for peace, no matter your race, religious beliefs or social standing. It’s about making better and stronger communities for everyone, everywhere. And that is why Fair Trade Certification matters so much; it’s all about a better tomorrow due to the choices we make today!