Fair Trade seems to be a sort of buzz word these days. Coffee shops are utilizing it, the coffee beans you may buy at the grocery store are using it. But, what does it really mean? Does it matter whether we purchase beans that are Fair Trade? What are the benefits, or are there even any?
Let's start with the basics. Fair trade’s definition according to the World Fair Trade Organization is, “Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.”
To put it simply, Fair Trade means that farmers and workers are compensated fairly for their products and services. The benefits lie on the other side of your coffee cup in the hands of those who planted and harvested your coffee beans.
For me, Fair Trade makes me think of the idea that we need to take more time to think about where we get our resources from. Whether that be our food and beverages, the products we put on our body, use in our household, the entertainment and media we consume… to me, it matters. To me, the choices I make create a ripple affect and an impact: even if that impact starts small, the ripples grow bigger.
Although Fair Trade is “hot right now” I’d say it’s something that’s trending that should continue to do so. Every little positive step we can take is another step towards a positive change.