The effects of changing global weather patterns are all around us. Farmers are noticing more drought conditions, floods, and soil degradation, and unfortunately – small farmers are typically the most impacted from our ever-changing climate. When individuals hear of fair trade, they typically think of it as providing fair wages and healthy work environments; but, in fact – fair trade is equally invested in preserving the environment.
Fair Trade For The Planet.
When farmers are struggling to survive financially, in some cases, they tend to take short cuts with the soil; spraying chemicals or utilizing GMO’s to grow crops with higher yields. When fair trade programs began, it gave farmers the opportunity to better tend to their land and the food they were producing, because they were then receiving fair compensation. The aim of fair trade is to offer better terms of trade to local producers and workers, thereby helping to strengthen local communities and protect the environment. Farmers must comply with strict requirements to be considered fair trade; some of those pertaining to soil retention, sustainably sourcing water, carbon emission regulations, Non-GMO rules, and minimizing the use of agrochemicals.
Benefits of Fair-Trade:
- Fair trade is a growing campaign movement with more than 550 fair trade towns, almost 900 fair trade schools, 170 Fair trade universities, and more than 7,000 fair trade faith groups.
- Fair trade promotes training on climate change mitigation for farmers.
- 26% of all farmers and workers in fair trade organizations are women.
- There are 1,411 certified fair trade organizations.
- No child labor is used.
- The fair trade system currently works with over 1.65 million farmers and workers.
- The average size of a fair trade farm is 1.5 hectares.
- Fair trade prohibits the use of certain agrochemicals that are harmful to the environment, and encourages farmers to reduce their use of pesticides.
How can I make an impact?
Tier 1: Global Goodness
- Support fair trade companies. Knowing which companies to support makes mindful consumption much easier. There are fair trade companies in every industry; from food to household goods and clothing.
- Go to our newest resource: http://www.theconsciousbuyer.com for a list of over 600 companies that support fair trade.
- Get involved in your local fair trade community. There are thousands of fair trade organizations over the world; being involved keeps you up to date on the latest fair trade companies and initiatives.
Tier 3: Earth Angel
- All of Actions 1 & 2.
- Volunteer to work with fair trade organizations in your local community. Helping hands and community involvement will always help progress the fair trade movement.
- Let’s make fair trade standards actual laws. By lobbying your local government to regulate child labor and other fair trade practices, we can create a movement to increase the standards for workers in our country and in other developing countries.
- Choose to be an Ambassador for Change, and always Spread Love and Spread Light.