World Fair Trade Day is almost here. It’s a time the global movement celebrates the hard work of small-scale farmers and artisans around the globe and their partners in building more just, fair supply chains.
This year, our 7th annual retailer campaign connects the dots between small-scale farmers’ regenerative, organic farming practices and the ways that fair trade supports their stewardship. Agroforestry, compost projects, reforestation: all these help draw down carbon and combat climate change. Yet all take more time and labor and require the kind of long-term support and investment that standard commodity transactions do not offer.
It took a long time to build our broken, inequitable trade system and it is going to take long-term vision and partnerships to transform it.
Fair trade provides a model to support that kind of much-needed investment. Stable price minimums and premiums for organic production and community development projects allow farmers to do the time-consuming yet necessary work needed. The monies get spent and the decisions get made democratically, meaning that the projects are the ones the communities believe in and need the most. Each pound of coffee, each bar of chocolate makes a little difference.
When we select partners for our retail program, we look for those who are dedicated to making that difference—and going beyond. We call them “committed brands,” companies who have embraced the original fair trade principles and made them part of their core values as a business. Beyond meeting minimum standards and paying fair prices for a few products, they are digging deep and applying them to every supply chain.
These companies are working with growers over the long-term, partnering on reforestation projects, collaborating on compost initiatives, teaming up on roasting and cupping workshops, bringing together farmer-to-farmer trainings—all initiatives that build better opportunities and invest in a shared future. The truth is that it took a long time to build our broken, inequitable trade system and it is going to take long-term vision and partnerships to transform it.
This May, we’re partnering with National Cooperative Grocers’ 200+ member stores to further invest in fair trade farmer communities and climate solutions. Stop in at participating stores: $1 will plant one tree through fair trade co-op Norandino’s reforestation program (read the article in the latest issue of For a Better World for more on how this group of small-scale farmers in Northern Peru is building supply chains and a small-scale farmer-driven economy that sustains families and stewards the planet). No store near you? You can also contribute directly via Grow Ahead, our crowdfunding initiative.
This World Fair Trade Day, we join people in 70 countries celebrating the fair trade movement and a vision of putting people and our planet ahead of profits at any cost. We believe that a just economy and a world that is fair for all are possible, will you join us?