Fairtrade, what does it mean?
Posted by Fair Trade 22 Comments
Products with the Fairtrade mark are becoming more and more common, more accessible and more popular. We are aware that by choosing certified products we make a good decision, but have you ever wondered what is actually hidden behind this logo? What does it mean for the producer, for the agent and for people working at every stage of production of the things we buy? And at the very end, what does it mean for us - consumers?
Straight to the point then!
1. What kind of products can get this certificate?
First of all, food products such as coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa, rice, exotic fruits and others, such as cotton, balls or flowers. Perhaps you already think that the articles mentioned above are produced mainly in the countries of the Global South - both in Africa, Latin America and Asia and Oceania. This is a very good conclusion, because the Fairtrade certificate is granted to farmers and producers in developing countries.
Hence, not all brands, even those operating in the spirit of Fairtrade, will be able to apply for this certificate. For example, our brand, Fairma Ethical Design, does not use any materials from the Global South countries in its products, which is why Fairtrade is not for us. Does this mean that our products are less "fair"? Absolutely not! Materials we choose come from reliable sources from Europe - for example, microfiber we use is made in Spain, and products are manufactured in Poland, often in small, family-owned factories, which gives us confidence that the working conditions are ethical and the pay for their work is suitable.
2. What are the Fairtrade standards?
First of all, to provide a minimum wage. The farmer is to receive a steady income, regardless of fluctuations in the market. Therefore he is sure that the production’s costs is covered, and he receives appropriate salary.
Secondly, the bonus. The price of the Fairtrade product includes the amount that finally goes to the local community and is used, for example, for school construction, plantation development, etc.
Thirdly, human rights. Employees must be provided with appropriate working conditions that are not harmful to their health. Child labour and economical slavery are forbidden. Fairtrade also fights for women's rights. For example, the salary for women's work on coffee plantations in Kenya goes to their own hands, not to their husbands’.
Fourthly, the environment. The producer is to strive to minimize the negative impact on the environment. The less chemicals he uses, the more money he gets for his product. The use of GMOs is also prohibited. The programs of sustainable agriculture and proper waste management are gradually introduced.
3. Who can use the Fairtrade logo?
If you buy chocolate with the Fairtrade mark, it means that the cocoa bean plantation, their exporter, importer and processor (which is a company that turns cocoa into chocolate) are all certificated. Attention! The certificate is given to a specific product, not a brand. It means that if brand’s X chocolate is Fairtrade, but cookies of the same brand - not necessarily.
4. Why is it worth choosing Fairtrade?
You have a real impact on lives of people in developing countries. We can be sure that employees get a real salary, they don’t expose their health while working and that no children are employed. Isn’t it enough?
The process of getting a Fairtrade certificate is very complex. For three years after obtaining a positive decision, the organization carries (often unannounced) audits to verify the reliability of the company's operations. In addition, the certificate is renewed every year.
All this makes Fairtrade an organization worth trusting. Products marked with the logo are more and more easily available even in the largest supermarket’s chains in Poland. Look around while reaching for your favorite coffee or chocolate. If you can help someone this simple way, why not then...?
HERE you can find all the Fairtrade certified products from our store!