Fair Trade principles include:
  • Fair prices and credit: Democratically organized farming groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price (or the market price if it’s higher) and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farming organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
  • Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions and sustainable wages. Forced child and slave labor are strictly prohibited.
  • Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible to eliminate unnecessary middlemen and empower farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Democratic and transparent organizations: Fair Trade farmers and workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade premiums, which are funds for community development.
  • Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarships, schools, quality improvement and leadership training, and organic certification.
  • Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.

(www.fairtradeuse.org)

Every time we make a purchase we are influencing businesses that produce the items we buy. Why not influence in a positive way by buying fair trade. As modern-day slavery becomes more known, companies are crumbling under the pressure to make products within the fair trade standards. The more we, as consumers, refuse to purchase products made by slave and child labor, the louder we become. Manufacturers only care about the bottom line and would rather not lose business even if it means they might have to cut into their profits.

Need more motivation, watch this documentary about how cacao (the plant used to make chocolate) is harvested .

And don’t forget to look for the fair trade symbol.

Want to know your purchasing impact on the slave trade and which companies pay fair wages? Visit this website and take an online quiz. The quiz will ask about your purchasing habits and estimate how many slaves are used to support your lifestyle. At the end of the quiz you can email your favorite companies that use child or slave labor and request that they end this practice within their company.

One final note…
If each of us made a small change everyday to end human trafficking and child slavery, we could one day rid the world of it all together.

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