Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fair Trade

I'm a big advocate for Fair Trade.  My other blog - The Anti-Slavery Project - is about combating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children.  It's a huge issue in the United States (and globally, of course) but it doesn't stop there.  Another big issue is fair trade.  That is, slave labor.

Think it doesn't exist in the US?  Please, think again!  But, what is fair trade, you might be asking.  Fair trade creates a platform where producers receive fair wages and good working conditions.  It is assuring that the products you buy are made by workers who are not slaves to their employers.  In case you aren't aware, there is a full Fair Trade Movement going on!

Slave labor doesn't just mean "adults".  Many of the slaves are children.

Fair Trade principles include:

  • Fair price
  • Fair labor conditions
  • Direct trade
  • Democratic and transparent organizations
  • Community development
  • Environmental sustainability
Some of the products that are an issue for fair trade include:
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Spices and herbs
  • Plants
  • Nuts
  • Sugar
  • Cotton
  • Soybeans
  • Quinoa
  • Wine
  • Sportsballs
See anything that looks familiar to you?  Chances are, the food you're eating, the shoes you're wearing, or the soccer ball your kids play with were picked and/or assembled by slave children.

My challenge to you - my PLEA to you - is to shop smart this holiday season!  And then, learn to shop smart after the holidays are over.  STOP buying products unless the company is Fair Trade certified!

Here are some links to help you out:

And by the way, October is Fair Trade Month!

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