Have you ever wondered what exactly to look for when trying to buy Fair Trade? It can be a little confusing to decipher the labels or perceived rhetoric about “Fair Trade” and get down to finding the actual products available in the market. But once you know what to look for, it actually becomes quite easy.
Certified Fair Trade products are not available in every type of merchandise that we may think of. There is a small but comparable list of things available at this point and the best way to find those products is by looking for the “label”. The above photo is a collage of all the Certified Fair Trade and Fair Trade related logos that I am aware of. What is to follow is a listing of each logo and a brief description of what they mean and information about the parent organization. I hope you’ll find this helpful and that it may take some of the guesswork out of shopping Fair Trade.
I’m stepping out to try something new. I’ve had a strong urge over the past 6 months or so to do what I could to promote the use and awareness of Fair Trade goods to the everyday consumer. Last April I began my journey of discovering what Fair Trade was all about. After an event on social justice I met a couple who were starting a committee to make our town a Fair Trade Town (part of Fair Trade Towns USA). My wife and I joined the committee and in September of that year Healdsburg was recognized as a Fair Trade Town. I have learned so much in these past months and I want to pass that knowledge on to others. In addition, I have a vision of encouraging the growth of a new community; a community of conscientious consumers. It is said that “Every Purchase Matters” and I am a firm believer in this way of living.
So how do we make fair trade a part of our everyday lives? Where can we find fair trade? What does it mean for a product to be fair trade certified? Is this just a fad or a marketing scheme? Should we purchase whatever we desire or do we have a responsibility to know where the products we buy come from? Does this take the place of “buying local”? Do our purchases really have an impact on communities and persons in another part of the world?
These questions, as well as others, shall be the topic of this blog. I intend this to be a place to get information, gain knowledge and share your experiences with fair trade. I am still learning and finding ways to adjust my lifestyle to be a more ethical and conscientious consumer. I hope you will join me on this journey and discover for yourself why “Every Purchase Matters”.