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TIP OF THE DAY: Buy A Fair Trade Product For World Fair Trade Day

Look for a small Fair Trade logo that
identifies fairly traded products. Photo
courtesy Green Mountain Coffee.


Today’s tip is to purchase a Fair Trade product. May 11th is World Fair Trade Day.

Fair Trade is a practice that seeks to aid economically challenged, small-scale farmers around the world. Many of them labor in poverty to produce the cacao, coffee beans and other crops we take for granted. Because of the “system,” they often earn less than it costs to produce the crop.

While America’s small farmers often endure severe economic hardships, American children go to school and families have access to public health care and other assistance. In third world countries, however, these “essentials” can be hard to come by. And since school is not mandatory in certain countries, many children instead work in the fields to contribute to the household income.

Why is the situation so bleak? Most small family farmers live in remote locations and lack access to credit, so they are vulnerable to local middlemen who offer quick cash for their crops, at a fraction of their value.

Fair Trade guarantees farmers a set minimum price for their crops, which covers the cost of production and some profit. It links farmer-run cooperatives directly with U.S. importers (who in turn sell to manufacturers/packagers), cutting out middlemen and creating the conditions for long-term sustainability.

Through Fair Trade, farmers and their families earn better incomes for their hard work. This allows them to hold on to their land, keep their children in school and invest in the quality of their harvest.



Use your purchasing power to make an impact on the lives of small farmers and their families.

  • Find A Retailer. While your main supermarket may not carry Fair Trade products, check at your natural products retailer or local food co-op. Chains such as Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Markets and Earth Fare are supporters of the movement.
  • Make One Product Switch To Fair Trade. It could be your coffee, your chocolate chips, your honey. Beans and grains, cocoa, coffee, fruits and vegetables, honey, nuts and seeds, sugar and tea are all fairly traded.

    Certified Fair Trade products now comprise a multi-billion dollar industry, with over 10,000 products in the marketplace. Consumer demand for fairly traded products has steadily risen over the last decade, thanks to the tireless work of dedicated advocates and advocacy organizations, committed companies and student activism.


    Fairly traded chocolate is delicious. Photo courtesy Divine Chocolate.


    Fair Trade is a business practice that protects the environment while improving livelihoods.
    The fair trade movement, which includes different certifying agencies, has a vision of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices, so that farmers can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood. Read more about it at

    You’ll see different logos on Fair Trade products: There are many organizations around the world dedicated to the promotion of fair trade and its values. In North America, the leading organizations are the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), TransFair USA, and the Fair Trade Resource Network.

    Internationally, the big names are World Fair Trade Organization and FLO International. Here’s more about Fair Trade certifying agencies and the logos to watch for.

    Thanks in advance for pitching in this great cause.


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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