May 13th is World Fair Trade Day. Around the globe, people are gathering to celebrate the principle of ethically made goods sold for a price that supports a living wage.
Take a moment and make some noise with #FairTradeDay and at WFTO on Facebook.
Imagine for a moment that you weave baskets, working daily to earn enough to put food on the table, send kids to school, and pay for medicine when needed. And you’re good at it… one of the best. Your baskets are amazing.
But somehow, no matter how hard you work, it’s just not enough. Traders come by once a week and pay you a pittance, barely more than the cost of the materials. Yet your baskets sell in distant markets for what seems an outrageous price.
Sometimes that’s simply the way it is. Shipping is crazy expensive, as is marketing, rent and packaging. It can cost a lot to get a product from maker to market, and everyone involved needs to earn a living too.
But often it’s simply unfair. Too little of the price consumers pay goes to the person who made a product. Too much goes to everyone else.
That is where fair trade comes in and is so important. Businesses and nonprofits that are Fair Trade Certified follow 10 principles that help ensure products are ethically made – a reasonable wage, safe workplace, gender equality, environmental sustainability, no child labor, and more.
We are a proud member of the World Fair Trade Organization, and believe that every single product offers the opportunity to do good. Not just avoid harm, but actually improve lives – help lift families out of poverty and clean up the environment.
If made the right way, everything we purchase can contribute to a better world. Is that far-fetched? We don’t think so. For the most part, it’s about the choices we make each day.
Sometimes the best option is too expensive, unavailable or simply not quite right. That’s OK. What is important is that we are thinking about our buying decisions and making an effort where and when we can. Switching to fair trade coffee, shopping at a fair trade store, choosing a t-shirt that was made in a fair trade certified factory.
And steering clear of the really bad stuff no matter what.
Together, we can make a big difference. Each of us can be an agent for change in a small way that cumulatively has a huge impact on the world.
So take a moment to celebrate World Fair Trade Day with us. Tweet, post, share a fun selfie, and by all means purchase something stamped with a fair trade logo!