To the editor:
Today is World Fair Trade Day, and a good opportunity to inform people of the good that the fair trade movement is accomplishing.
Fair trade is about fair compensation for farmers and artisans who grow, harvest, or produce the products we enjoy. In countries where child labor, slave labor, extremely low wages, and dangerous working conditions are more the norm than the exception, the fair trade co-ops make it possible for people to thrive, not through charity, but by the implementing of sound business and agricultural practices.
Impoverished workers are not the only ones to benefit from fair trade products. When we buy fair trade, we reap the benefits of superior quality goods and foods. I can attest to the superior flavor of fair trade coffees and chocolates. Strict standards and farmers' ownership of their businesses help to ensure the quality that we find in Fair Trade Certified products.
Now that I have made a commitment to support justice by purchasing fair trade products whenever possible, I am always on the lookout for local sources for such products. Fair trade coffee is available in all of our local grocery stores. Other items like tea, cocoa, chocolates, sugar, and produce are much harder to find. As more of us understand the importance of using our dollars to speak out against injustice, our local merchants will likely respond with more fair trade choices for us.
The next time you go shopping, look for the black and white Fair Trade Certified symbol. By choosing Fair Trade Certified coffee, tea, and chocolate we can make a difference in the lives of others and support the principle of justice for all.