What is World Fair Trade Day? May 13 2016, 0 Comments

"World Fair Trade Day?"

"What is that?"

Well, allow me to introduce you. 

World Fair Trade Day started in 2001 by a wonderful organization named the World Fair Trade Organization.  It was created, much like “Fair Trade”, as a social movement.  A movement “by the people, for the people” to create awareness of the positive impact Fair Trade can have on both people and planet.  It is now and initiative that takes place on the second Saturday of May.  This year, World Fair Trade Day takes place on May 14, 2016.

Fair Trade is simply a means of trade that does not exploit vulnerable workers.  Fair Trade stands for empowerment and sustainability.  Anyone can donate money for a cause they believe in but how much better would it be to create a long term, sustainable business for an individual or more significantly and entire community that could realistically, raise them from poverty?

Well, that is, in a nutshell, just what the Fair Trade movement does and a lot more.  And the super cool thing about it is that each and every one of us can contribute.  Each and every one of us can make a difference.

"How, you ask?"

Super easy, just be aware that there is a model for trade that is working and use it.  There are several organizations out there working very hard to assure that workers, farmers, artisans & producers have the opportunity to earn a living wage through dignified employment.  These wonderful, hardworking organizations help to validate the authenticity of the Fair Trade products that are available to us.

"Who are they, you ask?"

I am so glad you asked.  We love the Fair Trade Federation (FTF).  Not just because we are a longtime and proud member, but because they do so much good.  They validate the suppliers and retailers that claim to be committed to Fair Trade by carefully evaluating each and every organization, company or supplier they work with.  They carefully review your financial records, much like an audit, to validate your authenticity and after careful evaluation they either accept and give validation or deny. The Fair Trade Federation is the trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade.

    

Next up is the World Fair Trade Organization, who technically started World Fair Trade Day.  Much like the FTF, but on a global level, the WFTO stands for the producers, the workers with a mission to improve the livelihoods and well-being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade Organizations.   The WFTO guarantees that standards are being implemented regarding working conditions, wages, child labor and the environment.

You can trust companies who are validated members of either or both of these great organizations. 

Fair Trade fights for greater justice in trade.  It fights against poverty, exploitation, climate change and a lot of other issues that are so important to most of us.  Fair Trade creates opportunity for small, disadvantaged producers and has a great impact on the most vulnerable in our world.

"How can I participate?"

Jump in, Fair Trade is working, and it’s growing!  Look for Fair Trade products knowing that every purchase is a choice and every purchase can make a difference.  Tell your friends and family about Fair Trade and encourage them to make a choice for change. There is a person behind every product and a great Fair Trade company can connect you with that person.  By purchasing Fair Trade you join a movement to support a change and say “no” to sweatshops, child labor, forced labor and exploitation.  Boom! It's that easy!