You will likely have seen the Fairtrade mark on several products at your local supermarket, but do you know how this concept is improving the lives of millions of people around the world?
What is the Fairtrade Movement?
The Fairtrade organisation allows consumers greater possibilities to give small-scale farmers the opportunity to earn the wage they deserve. This movement has empowered farmers in developing countries and there are currently 1,226 Fairtrade certified organisations in 74 different countries.
Established in 1992, the aim of this organisation is to create a world in which workers receive a fair wage for the jobs that they do. This of course better enables them to create a stable future for themselves and their families. As they promote, encourage and enable fairer trading standards and conditions, this is a movement that has the potential to instigate change at every level.
How the Fairtrade Movement Works
By working with both businesses and the famers who produce and supply the products, the Fairtrade organisation is striving to eradicate exploitation and poverty among those who are involved.
In order to be certified as Fairtrade, a company will have to meet the expectations set out by the Fairtrade organisation. These expectations relate to the economic, the social, and the environmental standards of how the the farm operates and how the workers are treated.
When it comes to the farmers and the workers, these standards work to uphold their rights as well as to protect their financial interests. It is also Fairtrade policy that the farmers involved will receive what is known as a Fairtrade Premium, which is an additional payment that they then use to invest in local community projects. This means that it is not just the workers of individual farms that benefit, but the wider community on the whole.
The organisation has a process in place to investigate the entire production process, from farm to retailer, in order to establish if their standards are being met. If this is found to be the case then the product in question is then entitled to use the Fairtrade mark on the packaging of their product.
What is Included?
Both final products and food ingredients can be certified as being Fairtrade. If a finished product carries the Fairtrade mark then this means that all of the ingredients used in this product meet these standards.
There are approximately 4,500 Fairtrade products, with some of the most common everyday items being:
How Fairtrade is Making a Difference
An increase in conscious consumerism has led to shoppers making more sustainable choices in regards to a wide range of items. This can be seen to range from their food choices to the fabrics that they purchase when it comes to their clothes. This desire for a fairer world has further fuelled the Fairtrade movement, with more than 1.65 million farmers and workers currently being certified Fairtrade producers.
Gender equality is one concept that this movement has helped to not only draw attention to, but also to improve in parts of the world where this divide is especially apparent. As it stands today, 26% of all Fairtrade workers and farmers are women, with 48% of those women working within the plantations themselves.
Sustainability for a Better Future
The Fairtrade movement is helping to create a more sustainable future for the workers and also to educate local people about sustainable farming practices. In fact, protecting the environment is one of the key features of the organisation. In order to be eligible to call themselves Fairtrade producers, farmers must comply with certain sustainable farming practices. They can also receive training on environmentally friendly farming methods.
Want to read more about this incredible concept and the great work they do? Click here to head to their website now!