FAIR TRADE and the Consumer Conscience

Fair Trade Corporate Social ResponsibilityWell, there’s been some challenging comments about Fair Trade thrown around  in the media in the last few weeks in Norway.  Does it actually deserve a response?  I think it does.

No matter how many Investors, Corporations or Wholesalers that try to get a slice of the pie, Fair Trade is making huge improvements in the lives of the farmers and workers that are involved. Fair Trade agreements insure that funds are given back to the community for vital social improvements. Schools and daycare for workers children are built where they have never been before. Salaries are guaranteed to be at a determined competitive wage and working conditions are significantly improved. There are improvements to farming techniques, harvesting and agricultural preservation.

But why should we support the poor and uneducated? Some people say we do it to ease a bad conscience, but I don’t believe I have the conscience to do otherwise!

If there are any questions about the EU and conflicting interest with Fair Trade, you can find that there are absolutely no truths to those feeble acquisitions.

“The Fairtrade Foundation has … warmly welcomed a ruling from the European Court of Justice that gives public procurers across Europe absolute legal clarity on public buyer’s right to demand Fairtrade or fairly traded goods.” May 10, 2012

“European Court of Justice stated that authorities tendering for new business can use criteria based on considerations of ‘an environmental or social nature.”

The Court also explicitly stated it is possible to refer in award criteria “to the fact that a product is of fair trade origin”. This means that public authorities can give preference to a bidder who includes Fair Trade criteria.

“What this ruling does is remove any lingering doubts about the legality of making production ethics a buying criteria.  Procurers are a naturally cautious bunch, therefore this new legal clarity now paves the way for all public food and cotton buying to be as ethical as possible.”

Read more about the EU ruling.

Fair trade – a definition
Fair trade: is defined at international level as 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. Fair trade organizations (backed by
consumers) are engaged actively in supporting
producers, raising awareness, and campaigning
for changes in the rules and practice of
conventional international trade.
This definition comes from FINE, which brings
together the four main fair-trade networks, Fair
Trade Labeling Organizations International
(FLO), World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the
former Network of European Worldshops
(NEWS!), and the European Fair Trade
Association (EFTA).

South American Crisis Supports Fair Trade Coffee

Consumers can provide some relief to Central American farmers by choosing to buy fair trade coffee certified by Fairtrade International (FLO), which provides a minimum guaranteed price and “social premiums” to build things like schools, roads, hospitals, and coffee facilities. Fair trade only reaches a tiny proportion of coffee farmers, however, around three per cent of the world’s products. More about South American Fair Trade Coffee.

Sheww, glad I got that off my chest!  Happy Friday!!!

HOW MANY SLAVES WORK FOR YOU?

TAKE THE TEST FOR FAIR TRADEFIND OUT HOW MANY SLAVES WORK FOR YOU HERE.

It’s not pretty, but it’s true!  Take the test if you don’t believe me! I had a shameful 61 slaves working for me and my family.

How to stop the slavery? Be aware of what you buy and whom you buy it from! Stay tuned to my blog and we will investigate this together!

Post your score in the Facebook comments page! I’m really curious to find out if we can make a change or not!

Makeup needs a Fair Trade MAKEOVER!

makeup_CSR-sep

Week 3 of 4 – Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders

HELLOOO! Well, this is pretty sad. It was very hard to find cosmetic companies that are actually claiming to practice fair trade principles! Several companies focus on animal rights and do not test on animals (which is also  a very good thing!). But not too many cosmetic industry leaders are flexing their Fair Trade or Ethical Business mucles.

So, I guess this could be a good time to start putting a focus on the cosmetic industry to shape up their business practices. From my findings (yes, insert disclaimer here) there was only one clear winner: THE BODY SHOP

THE BODY SHOP  was awarded the Responsible Business of 2013.

  • Launched Community Fair Trade in 1987
  • 85% of The Body Shop’s product range contains Community Fair Trade ingredients.
  • Program benefits over 320,000 people
  • Spanning 21 countries worldwide.

The Body Shop has 25 Community Fair Trade supplies in the following ingredients:

  • Accessories from India
  • Aloe from Guatemala
  • Hemp from England
  • Maurula from Namibia
  • Alcohol from Ecuador
  • Brazil Nut from Peru
  • Honey from Ethiopia
  • Paper from Napal
  • Shea from Ghana
  • Tea Tree from Kenya

I know there are some up and coming skin care lines that are focusing on Environmental and Social Responsibilities practices. One of the local brands in my neighborhood is Kalahari Ancient Desert Secrets.

Obviously there are companies that are finding a niche in the ever growing popularity of Fair Trade. They are capitalizing on a market. (that’s the cynic in me talking) But that is not always for the bad.  Fair Trade marketing is creating an awareness that is good for the whole of the supply chain and the consumer. I will be looking into the checks and balances of the Fair Trade system next week in my final number for the Corporate Social Responsibility series.

Free2Work app does not even have a Cosmetics Industry. Download the app and activate the request for evaluation. Happy Friday!

Business: But can still have fun with Social Media

First Video!
First Video!

Check out our first video!

Inger’s Blog

Vivi-Ann’s Blog

Two girlfriends and I have started learning more about blogging and tonight we got inspired to try a video! Kinda scary. Do you have any video’s on youtube? Let me know if you have experimented with this form of social media!

Pukka Tea is Fair Trade!

Pukka Herbs Fair Trade Tea

Pukka Tea has a variety of Fair Trade tea.  Last week I found a huge selection at my near by Home & Cottage store!  Yeah!!!  I was so excited to see that this wonderful tea is gaining popularity and is becoming easier to find!

Shopping tips are always welcome. If you find a great Fair Trade product and would like to share with others, just let me know! I am always trying to make the shopping experience as effective and pain-free as possible!

p.s. our helpful clerk went above and beyond our usual service experience in Norway.  Great service!  Kudos to Home & Cottage!!!