FairTrade: Beyond the definition

FairTrade: Beyond the definition

I’m sure you have all heard the word FairTrade before – especially if you are a senior in Marymount. Although, do you understand what the this means beyond its simple definition? Its history and importance?

Fairtrade all started in the United States, when ten thousand villages began buying needlework in Puerto Rico in 1946, and a non-profit organization began to trade with poor communities in the south. The first formal Fairtrade shop opened in 1958 in the USA, where it sold multiple items worldwide.

The Fairtrade organization strives to promote fair trading conditions, empower farmers/workers and establishes connections with businesses, consumers and campaigners in order to set social, economic and environmental standards for both parties.

Okay, but how does using Fairtrade products help society?

The more sales, the more money goes back to the community. Although this isn’t some magic pill, parts of the income will help, be it investments in vital infrastructure, improving roads, or a maternity hospital, purchasing an ambulance, or environmental projects, such as reforesting. So, for every banana to every coffee bean that is sold on Fairtrade terms, a bit more premium goes to the co-operative, meaning an improvement somewhere in their community.

What is the difference between buying regular produce as opposed to Fairtrade?

In some goods, Fairtrade prices are considerably higher than regular produce, however, the money would be going to a good cause as opposed to a large business, the workers would be treated better and it would help lift people out of poverty, purchase by purchase. Although, regular produce from supermarket chains is more convenient, some Fairtrade goods are supplied, just look for the Fairtrade logo.


Kiana Fathi

Sophia Lupo