Fair Trade Foods: Making The Switch(68029)
Credit: Kafka4Prez (cc)

The significance of supporting companies that sell fair trade foods is lost on us if we don't know the reasons it's so important. Mainstream media seems to prefer focusing on the many trivial non-events that take place in circles of celebrities, while child slaves are put to work in the chocolate and sugar industry without serious journalistic coverage. When we invest in goods that are humanely produced, distributed, and marketed, we disempower the system that ignores the abuse of innocent peoples the world over who wholly deserve to earn a fair wage for their toils and live a balanced life.

Why Fair Trade Foods ?

Food distributors and “producers” that don't practice fair trade have traditionally damaged the earth over-harvesting the soil until nutrients are badly depleted and have essentially forced people (or placed them under economic conditions that gave them little or no alternative), children included, to work for slave wages. As the awareness of the conscious populace grew, solutions were developed to regulate a way that made ethically produced and distributed foods identifiable: hence, the fair trade federation.

In the 70s, the Fair Trade Federation began to form during annual conferences between alternative fair-trade organizations. By 1994, they came together as NAATO (North American Alternative Trade Organization), and renamed themselves shortly thereafter to the organized federation they are today. Their primary aim is to facilitate market expansion for fair trade among producers on both individual and group levels. They screen their potential members thoroughly before they grant their certification to a company's product line or service, and keep their accepted partners logged in a database that is accessible on their site for networking purposes.


How Do You Know A Product Is Really Selling Fair Trade Food?

The fair trade mark associated with IFAT (The International Federation for Alternative Trade) initiated a program long ago that identifies the products and services of its members through the mark associated with their organization.

There are a few organizations now, some older and more invested than others, that label their goods to signal their fair trade commitment. Serious buyers will want to do the preliminary research to discern who they trust and want to spend money with. This will help to avoid any pitfalls that may exist with non-green businesses posing as fair traders.


Where Are The Best Places To Buy Fair Trade?

Fair trade items have trickled into the mainstream market, but you can buy them all on localized sites if you don't wish to check a shelf full of products labels to find items that are certified to be ethically obtained and marketed.

A few golden ones include: