What is Fair Trade?

Buying an item that is Fair Trade certified guarantees a product that has a high standard of quality produced with regards to the impact on our environment and on the standard of living of the many peoples that provide the rest of the world with coffee, tea, cocoa, fruits, nuts, other foods, clothing and crafts.

Fair Trade means that farmers and workers received a fair price for their product.  In many cases, the world market price for commodities such as coffee and cocoa falls below the cost of production for small farmer, forcing farmers out of business.  Growers who sell to fair trade organizations receive $1.12 to $1.26 a pound.  This is especially important when the trend of the last few decades has dramatically increased the gap between the rich and the poor.  Today, the richest 20% of the world’s population has 60 times the income of the poorest 20%.  Fair Trade certification also means that you as a consumer are being offered a fair price.  Fair Trade co-ops deal directly with the farmer thus cutting out all the middlemen that increase product prices.

By receiving a fair price, Fair Trade producers can avoid cost-cutting practices that sacrifice quality.  The Fair Trade producer ‘s traditional farming methods result in exceptional products grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides.

80% of Fair Trade certified coffee, tea and chocolate is also certified organic and shade grown.  The practice of growing plants under the natural shade canopy preserves crucial habitats for a diverse array of plants, animals, insects and migratory birds; important because forested eco systems are one of the worlds most threatened ecosystems.  The farmers implement soil and water conservation, composting, terracing and reforestation.