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I see the Fair Trade icon on my bag of coffee, cotton tote tag and on many organic food labels but what do Fair Trade standards actually encompass?
Fair Trade stamped items do a number of positive and noteworthy things for people and the environment. Using strict standards, the Fair Trade stamp of approval is issued to approved companies that exhibit “socially and environmental responsibility”.
The Mission Statement from Fair Trade USA is as follows:
- Fair Trade USA enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth. We achieve our mission by certifying and promoting Fair Trade products
Companies that earn the stamp of approval must adhere to the following basic standards:
- Fair prices
- No GMO’s
- No hazardous chemicals
- No child labor
As green and responsible consumers, it’s our duty to consider these choices, for the good of the economy, the environment and even for ourselves. GMO’s and unnatural chemicals wreak havoc on our bodies, causing altered hormones and a build-up of free radicals. Chemicals are detrimental to the environment, penetrating solid earth and seeping into the water supply. Without regulation or elimination of these toxins, contaminated earth will continue to produce unsafe products for consumption for years to come.
I don’t think I need to explain why eliminating child labor is important. In conjunction, Fair Trade USA encourages children to continue their education while also educating adults on how to successfully operate a sustainable business, while growing financially and environmentally aware. Small and underprivileged farms are paired with corporations to ensure safe and socially respectable products, while forging business relationships that do a world of good for all involved.
If you’d like to learn more, please visit www.FairtradeUSA.org.