Maybe you’ve seen the Fair Trade logo and wondered “What’s that about?” You know what Certified Organic means, and you know what Made in the USA means, but what is Fair Trade exactly?
For items that are produced in the United States, the consumer can pretty much rest assure that the workers were paid and treated fairly. We have laws to ensure that. However, when so many of our goods come from other countries, how do we know it wasn’t produced by child labor or under horrible conditions? We don’t unless the producers and brokers in these countries agree to follow certain guidelines. That’s where Fair Trade comes in.
Fair Trade began in the 1940s when a few small North American and European organizations reached out to poverty stricken communities to help them sell their handicrafts to well-off markets. Today, Fair Trade is a global effort.
Fair Trade standards are designed to tackle poverty and empower producers in the poorest countries in the world. The standards apply to both producers and traders. The standards and principles of Fair Trade are: fair pay for labor, protection from child exploitation, concern for the environment, long-term relationships between artisans and buyers, reasonable working conditions, equal opportunity for women, and respect for cultural identity.
Globalization makes Fair Trade more important than ever. Small producers in faraway countries deserve a voice in an open market that treats them with respect. In today’s world economy, where profits rule and small-scale producers are left out of the bargaining process, Fair Trade helps exploited producers escape from this cycle and gives them a way to maintain their traditional lifestyles with dignity.
Fuquay-Varina United Methodist Church will host its 5th annual Fair Trade Store on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, from 8 am – 8 pm in rooms 117/119. The Fair Trade Store is an opportunity to purchase items made by artisans around the world who are part of a Fair Trade business paradigm. This is not a fundraiser but an awareness-raiser through One World Market, a non-profit store dedicated to the mission of Fair Trade.
All are invited to the Fair Trade Store Oct. 26-27 in rooms 117-119 from 8 am – 8 pm. Fuquay-Varina United Methodist Church, 100 S. Judd Parkway SE, Fuquay-Varina, 919-552-4331.