Fair Trade Or Not To Fair Trade

Unfortunately, we just can’t get everything we want or need locally. We’re very fortunate here in upstate, New York that we can get everything we need to live comfortably and eat well, but sometimes there are things that we just want. Chocolate, coffee, sugar, tea, vanilla, rice, fruit, and herbs. Staples of the average American diet, but just not available locally in most places, or for some, not available in the US. For those items that we don’t have here, we have Fair Trade.

What is Fair Trade Certified? Fair Trade ensures the same standards in the imported food you eat as the local. A Fair price for farmers and farm workers, environmentally sustainable farming practices, decent working and living conditions, and investments in the community. In short, Fair Trade ensures everything that Our Tiny Earth represents.

The unfortunate thing is, only around 1% of the coffee and chocolate trade is certified Fair Trade. There have been positive moves, like Nestle taking a stand against unethical treatment of chocolate producers, unfortunately they have countered their ethical sense with countless acts of unethical treatment of the environment and communities within America and abroad. (Click here for more details). For years, like in the Organic market, there have been moves by the big companies to take over the Free Trade market. A part of me wants to think that these big companies are turning a new leaf and would like to do the right thing, but a part of me is skeptical. These companies are in business to make money, not to make the world a better place.

My opinion? I’m going to keep buying Fair Trade Certified products. I know that corporate America listens to one thing and one thing only, the almighty dollar. Just another rant…

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