What is Fair Trade

Fair Trade is a word that is used a lot. People know that is ethical and helps people in developing countries. Unfortunately the reasons why it is important are barely discussed.

Buying Fair Trade is more than just a trend. Fair Trade helps to take people in developing countries out of poverty.

Fair Trade allows the producers and workers to build relationships with the companies that buy from them. It allows people to be paid fairly for the work they have done and know what is going on at every level. The workers then have stability in their work and get the best deal possible.

When you start learning about what Fair Trade is it makes you more aware of what is going on around you. Buying something cheap that looks good usually feels nice however; that clothing has come at a bigger cost.

Imagine a person going to work every day to make sure you have just enough money to feed your family. When you get to work, you get paid around $72 CAD a month, the walls are cracked and the conditions are terrible, sometimes you are working around toxic chemicals with no mask. The building you work in has bars on the windows and there may be a fire every month. If you don’t go to work your family will not have any money to survive.

Now imagine that same person being able to be a part of the trade deal. Not worrying whether or not they will be paid. They know they will. Now they are being treated like an actual person not just a part of an assembly line with tight deadlines. The conditions they work in are good. They are free to do what they please and are not scared to go to work. They can look out the window and know the building is safe and regularly checked.

Everyone would want to be in the second situation. That is why Fair Trade is important. When can buy clothes and products where they are coming from and who the producers are, that is the first step to making sure conditions are good and safe.

By paying attention to the products you buy in your everyday life it is easy to support workers in developing countries. Helping the producers and workers also helps to boost the local economy and helps the community to reduce poverty.

Next time you are deciding between a product that is Fair Trade and one that is not, take a second to think about whom it will be effecting and why supporting Fair Trade is important.

You don’t need to completely change everything you buy. You can always start with a bracelet, scarf or coffee. Taking it one day at a time can make big difference to someone in need.