Show Me Your Label: A Guide To Fair Trade Labels

The list has been updated with two new labels;

The Whole Trade Guarantee and Equitable-Trade. Learn more and see the rest of the labels by checking out this post! .

People Unseen

“I pity a man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.”

Benjamin Harrison,23rd President of The United States

I was trying to find some funny quotes on pity the other day to make a comment on a friends Facebook page when I came across this quote from Benjamin Harrison. It immediately made me think of the principles of Fair Trade and the journey I have been on over the past 2 years. It got me thinking about the different ways we treat people and how that treatment may differ based on two categories: people we see and people we don’t.

I’m sure most of us have seen people in desperation, people begging for assistance. In my community they can be seen on a bench outside the local Safeway playing some type of musical instrument with an open container at their feet that has a few coins or bills in it. Continue reading

Not Everyone Knows…

I know. Many of my friends and family know. But the fact remains that there are still many people that we come in contact with don’t what Fair Trade is. This is a problem! It comes down to this; If we know of something good, we need to let others know about it. We need to share with others the good things we have experienced. We do this already with restaurants, movies & vacations spots. Lets just keep in mind that Fair Trade is something good that we can share with friends, family and complete strangers.

I had a Fair Trade education moment today as I was picking up a few groceries from Safeway after my evening run. I was going through the isles gathering a few things, (I only had a hand basket) when something on the shelf caught my eye, . Dr Bronner;s is the soap that I use now and it is Fair Trade certified by . To my knowledge, my local Safeway has just begun carrying this item. I usually buy this product from one of our other local grocery stores that carries a wide variety of Fair Trade goods. So needless to say I was surprised and excited to see Dr. Bronner’s on the shelf in Safeway. I threw a bar in my basket, as I was out of it at home, and headed to the checkout. See the Soap and read what happened next!

“Best in Fair Trade” Awards Open for Nominations of Business & Nonprofits

Fair Trade Resource Network has launched “Best in Fair Trade” Awards for N. America nonprofits & businesses. The public can nominate (by March 31), and vote, for U.S. & Canada organizations doing exemplary work in Fair Trade in 5 categories:

  • Most positive change in a producer community;
  • Outstanding long-term commitment to producers;
  • Best support of the Fair Trade movement;
  • Most effective public education program;
  • Most effective advocacy for trade policy reform.

FTRN created the contest since no awards existed to honor organizations across all major Fair Trade recognitions. Winners will be celebrated during World Fair Trade Day in May!

, or , nonprofits and businesses before March 31. The public will then for any finalists during April.

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“Not For Sale” Partners w/ Eileen Fisher to end Slavery

Gallery

At the heart of Fair Trade is the desire for people to be treated fairly. Producers and farmers should be paid a fair price for their products. No one should be forced to grow or pick anything I eat or … Continue reading

A Step in the Right Direction

It’s simple to think about but harder to actually put into practice at times. I’m going for it though! I’m searching for new ways to live a Fair Trade lifestyle. It’s not about huge, crazy, radical restructuring of my life. It’s getting to that, but to put in more simpler terms, it’s about choosing differently about how I’m going to spend my money. Today, it’s about Flip Flops.

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Read more about Autonomie Project here!

Good & Fair

“I wanted to let you know about a great place to get underwear. was started by Shelton Green in 2010. He’s a great guy who was motivated to start the company as a way to do something about human trafficking. We now have a t-shirt made by them, and all of Charlie’s come from Good & Fair. Their clothing is very soft and comfortable. It’s both organic and Fair Trade.”

via & 

Thanks to Robin @  for the info!

Show Me Your Label: A Guide To Fair Trade Labels

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.

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See All Labels and Continue Reading Here!

Chocolate Has A Darker Side.

Do you know who handles your chocolate?

He was looking for Ali, the driver of the bus. The boy was Malian and no more than 10 years old. 100′s of miles away from home and separated from his family, he had no idea where he was. He had just spent hours on a bus traveling from the depot to the border town near the Ivory Coast. He was in the middle of a human trafficking ring that began in the bus depot and included the bus driver and a network of other transport
“professionals” that take the children all the way across the border and deliver them to the cocoa farms to work as slaves. This is the and the topic of a documentary of the same name by award winning Danish journalist Miki Mistarti.

On Wednesday Dec 14, the  featured a screening of this film in cooperation with at the Healdsburg High School’s Black Box Theater. You can watch the full documentary .

The film suggests that the dark side of chocolate is the wide use of child slaves to farm the cocoa. These children range in ages from as young as 8 all the way up to 19. In most cases there are no wages for these children as they can be bought for a few hundred dollars and used for an indefinite period of time. They sleep in wooden shacks, carry machetes to harvest the cocoa, wear no shoes and have no other safety equipment. They are girls and boys alike working as slaves in the Ivory Coast and many of them are initially trafficked from the country of Mali.

When I became aware of the issue of trafficked children in the chocolate industry I was faced with a decision to make. “Do I support companies that do not have transparency in the their supply chains and whose monitoring processes are inadequate, or do I support companies who know exactly where they are getting their product from?”

Divine Milk Chocolate

The choice was easy for me, I only want to support companies that know who handles their product from the farm where it’s grown to the merchant who sells it. It means that I have to change the way I do a few things but the chocolate does taste sweeter.of the brands that I buy at my local .

Nestle, Hershey’s, Barry Callebaut and Mars are some of the biggest perpetrators of the offense and all have major offices in the Ivory Coast to buy cocoa from the farms in that region. Watch the documentary and make an informed decision. Every purchase matters and we can let our purchase be our advocacy. It’s a simple thing buying Fair Trade chocolate but I feel better knowing that no one was in danger or forced to to make the thing that I enjoy.