You might be wondering how exactly buying fair trade items makes a difference in the world. Simply put, it's in the name. Buying fair trade makes the world a more fair place, especially for those people who are often disadvantaged. Here are four specific ways that sticking with fair trade helps other people and our planet.
1. Fair Trade Promotes Environmental Sustainability
Due to the environmentally strict standards that fair trade sets, buying fair trade items can be immensely beneficial for the Earth. It can result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, good soil and water quality, environmentally friendly farming methods, and reduced energy usage from factories. Environmental damage and climate change tends to impact low-income communities at a disproportionate rate, and fair trade helps to mitigate that.
2. Fair Trade Promotes Income Sustainability
In addition to strict environmental standards, fair trade sets standards for minimum pricing. This action is meant to protect low-income farmers, workers, and artisans against a market that has the potential to be erratic. With volatile market prices, these workers might not be able to earn enough income to cover basic costs of living. Minimum pricing helps protect these workers in the event that the price for the good they produce drops suddenly.
3. Fair Trade Promotes Better Working Conditions
In many areas of the world, workers' rights are often neglected or ignored. This means that they often have no formal contract and are not guaranteed basic health and safety precautions. Fair trade ensures that working hours and work conditions are strictly regulated. In addition, fair trade puts in place policies that prevent child labor, slave labor, and discrimination. Buying fair trade means you can be sure that the conditions in which the product was created were healthy and safe.
4. Fair Trade Promotes Community Development
Fair trade can also help communities as a whole. Through community development funds, we are able to assess the needs of various lower-income communities and determine how to make investments that will improve their standards of living. Buying fair trade doesn't just help individuals, but also can make an impact on entire communities.