Why You Should Consider Making the Switch to Fairtrade Produce
As consumers, we’re often told we should make the switch to Fairtrade products, particularly when it comes to fresh produce such as bananas, sugar and coffee, but the majority of us don’t really understand what the impact of Fairtrade means and the difference that we can make – when we switch to Fairtrade produce.
One of the most widely recognised ethical labels in the world, Fairtrade is a way of ensuring a fair living wage for people in developing countries where many of our staple products come from such as Bananas.
Fairtrade consortiums guarantee a price to farmers for their products that is fair, covering the cost of production and adding a premium which is invested in local social or economic projects. Broadly, the main benefit associated with Fairtrade is sustainability, both for the environment and for the workers associated with the Fairtrade produce, guaranteeing better terms of trade and production conditions.
Switch to Fairtrade Produce
But why should that matter to you? Firstly, purchasing products that have the Fairtrade certification contribute to reducing poverty, encouraging environmentally friendly production methods and safeguarding humane working conditions. To sell their produce as Fairtrade, farmers and other producers must adhere to Fairtrade standards at every level of the supply chain. Workers are guaranteed safe conditions and sustainable wages, and forced child labour is strictly forbidden.
Moreover, Fairtrade allows small farmers to compete with large-scale producers, thus creating a more sustainable economic environment in countries such as Mexico where a lot of the fresh produce associated with Fairtrade is grown.
It offers producers minimum guaranteed price for the 1.65 million farmers in Fairtrade certified producer organisations, so they will not make a loss on what they sell, meaning they get a better deal and a more stable income. It is the only scheme that offers farmers this type of protection and the opportunity to become more income secure and less vulnerable to poverty.
Workers are provided with support to help them to realise their rights and negotiate fair terms and conditions of work, giving them a greater sense of power and a higher degree of control over their own future.
Plus, Fairtrade generates funds that are invested into social, economic and environmental development projects in local communities, including scholarships, schools and quality improvement.
Purchasing Fairtrade produce also positively impacts the environment. Fairtrade standards dictate that water must be sourced sustainable and use of water must be reduced as much as possible over time; the use of GMOs is prohibited, and the use of potentially hazardous chemical fertilizers and pesticides is minimized. Fairtrade Standards promote training for farmers, advising them on how to make the switch towards environmentally friendly practices, including developing nutrient-rich soils and encouraging wildlife to help control pests and diseases.
Again, why does all this matter to you? Well, Fairtrade provides consumers like us with a safer and transparent food supply as well as the opportunity to connect with the people who grow the produce that we enjoy day after day.
Afterall if we do not do something to ensure a fair and sustainable food supply – we may too feel the impact one day.