Buying Fair Trade Has Benefits Far Beyond the Product You BuyThere are so many labels these days: organic, gluten free, single origin. At a certain point they all stop mattering, but I want to draw attention to a particular distinction, yet another moniker that should be important to us, especially those of us interested in equal pay for the double x chromosome.
Why does Fair Trade matter? Fair Trade certifies that the person on the other end of your transaction, the one who helped make the goods that you are enjoying, has received a living wage. That means that what we do, eat, or wear will not adversely affect an anonymous person, family, or child in another country around the globe. We want these things for our families and ourselves, so wouldn’t we want safe working conditions and maternity leave for expectant mothers in Ecuador?
Fair Trade matters because those workers can now feed their families, build businesses, and positively influence their communities. That old adage holds true, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” The influence of Fair Trade is to aid poverty-stricken countries by giving them skills rather than handouts. These are things we would have eaten, bought, or worn anyway, so why wouldn’t we want to ensure that the goods didn’t come from a sweat shop or child labor?