Why You Should Buy Fair Trade Products

Fair Trade Food is Obtained Ethically

If you tend to shop in health food stores, you have probably noticed more and more food  labeled  “Fair Trade” over the past few years. Originally, Fair Trade labeling was used mostly on coffee products. Now, Fair Trade products are encompassing everything from foods such as tea, coffee, and chocolate, to body care products. In fact, there are quite a few companies using Fair Trade agreements, importing many types of items from developing nations.  A few years ago I was in a lovely store in British Columbia that carried nothing but goods brought in under Fair Trade agreements. The store had lots of wonderful jewelry, clothing and crafts.

What Does Fair Trade Mean?

Since the beginning of time, the affluent have always taken advantage of the poor. Fair trade products are socially and environmentally sustainable products, and give the farmer, or manufacturer, a fair price for his or her item.

In the Philippines, the coconut industry is huge. Workers climb perilous trees to remove the coconuts. They make between 7 cents – 14 cents per coconut.  In peak season they are lucky to see $3 a day. Some companies importing coconuts to the US are stepping up to the plate and taking care to import coconuts obtained through Fair Trade practices.

Do Fair Trade Products Cost More?

Generally speaking, products bought in health food markets tend to cost more than conventional stores. Many Fair Trade foods are also non GMO, so it is possible they may have a slightly bigger price tag. For the most part, the importing company is taking the lesser profit and sharing more with the farmer or producer of the item.

I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to buy Fair Trade products whenever possible. I think we could also use peace of mind knowing that our purchase did not cause grievance to the person who supplied it. Health is not just physical.  It is also a state of mind.

To your Health!

Peter Gillham

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