October is Fair Trade Month

Every Purchase counts. That’s the message from Fair Trade USA for Fair Trade Month 2010.

Every purchase matters means taking an extra moment to think about the impact your purchases will have – on your own well being, on the people who produce the products and on the environment. With Fair Trade, every purchase you make has the power to make a difference in the world.

What kind of a difference?  Fair trade certification supports the farmers who grow your food, including fair trade chocolate,  and fair trade tea, and promotes community development sustainable farming methods.  Fair trade principles include.

  • Fair prices: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
  • Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
  • Direct trade: Importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to strengthen their organizations and become competitive players in the global economy.
  • Democratic and transparent organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to use their Fair Trade premiums.
  • Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like health care, new schools, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification.
  • Environmental sustainability: The Fair Trade certification system strictly prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), promotes integrated farm management systems that improve soil fertility, and limits the use of harmful agrochemicals in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.

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