Why Responsible Procurement is So Important
As you’re grocery shopping, do you ever stop and think about who made it possible for you to have those coffee beans? Or those bananas? Or even that chocolate bar?
Did you know there are over 1.6 million farmers and workers in Fairtrade certified producer organizations and the most popular Fairtrade products are coffee beans, bananas, cocoa, and sugar? You probably buy these products and select the cheapest option (we’re all guilty of that), but did you know that by shopping Fairtrade, you’re actually allowing those farmers to make a fair wage and be able to support their families?
What Is Fairtrade?
You may have heard misconceptions about Fairtrade products that just simply aren’t true, like, “anyone can claim their products are ethical” or, “it’s a smart marketing tactic that doesn’t actually support the farmers”. Well, yes, it is a smart marketing tactic because it’s a way to let shoppers know there are better options out there for both them and the farmer who allowed them to have that product.
Products that are Fairtrade certified must meet specific standards in order to receive that certification. This means these organizations meet the high social, economic and environmental standards. Anyone business who tries to put a Fairtrade label on their products that don’t meet these standards can be shut down.
The prices that you pay for that product will reflect the price at which the products are sold to the retailer by the manufacturer, so there are times where it could be more expensive, but this isn’t always the case.
Fairtrade organizations also set a Fairtrade minimum price that allows growers, specifically cocoa farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the ability to earn a wage above the extreme poverty line and be able to support their families. In fact, 26% of Fairtrade farmers in these countries use their hard-earned money for education for their children. You could be the one supporting that.
Support Fairtrade Cocoa Farmers
Did you know that 90% of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family-run farms with 6 million Fairtrade farmers? Cocoa trees primarily grow in hot, lush climates like Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ghana, and Cȏte d’Ivoire. Taking care of cocoa trees isn’t as easy as you may think. They must be protected from pests, diseases, and too much sun.
And after all that hard work, their low wages barely allow them to buy food to feed their families or send their kids to school. The average age of these farmers is 50 because they must continue to try to make as much as they can. By purchasing Fairtrade products, you’re ensuring these farmers have a stable life and can look after their families.
So, next time you go through a sweet tooth phase and have a craving for a chocolate bar, opt for a Fairtrade certified one! They come in just as many flavours as other brands and you’ll feel better knowing your money is actually going towards something.
Fairtrade Certified Products Is More Than Just Food
Though coffee beans, bananas, cocoa beans and sugar are the most popular Fairtrade products, there are many other Fairtrade goods you can be purchasing like skincare products (specifically shea or cocoa butter), clothing, and even jewelry! By supporting these organizations, you’re supporting better trading conditions, sustainability, and, in turn, allowing these workers to support their families.