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What is FairTrade?

Submitted by on Thursday, 22 April 2010No Comment

VDA07 0130 coffee 26You’ve probably heard of Fair Trade and have some idea about it, but let’s get a little specific here. Simply put, Fair Trade means buying goods that you know were produced by workers in poor countries who received fair compensation for their work and production and other kinds of support so that they can live a dignified and decent life and produce in a sustainable manner.

The beauty of Fair Trade is how we feel inside all day long when we wear, consume, or use Fair Trade items. When we know we’re doing what’s right, when we know that what we are doing is supporting the larger whole — the whole earth and all humanity — and not just ourselves, we live happier lives. On the one hand we feel proud of ourselves and get an ego boost for our right behavior. On the other hand we are building the habit of being more conscious consumers, more conscious people, conscious of the impacts our actions have on others and on the earth.

Fair Trade has lofty goals. It’s about justice and sustainable development in our trade practices and structures. The idea is that anyone in the world who works for their living should be able to earn a decent and dignified livelihood and also develop their full human potential.

fairtradewomanFair Trade is driven from two ends: the poor and marginalized on one end and consumers on the other. The poor and marginalized are given resources (including education), support, and access so that they can take control of their lives, earn a good livelihood in a sustainable manner, and develop their potential. Consumers, especially in wealthy nations, once educated about Fair Trade, are asked to make choices in the direction of Fair Trade. Consumers are also asked to participate in helping to change the trade structures, regulations, rules, laws, and practices in the direction of Fair Trade.





Great sites to go to include:
World Fair Trade Organization: http://www.wfto.com/

Fair Trade Labelling Organizations International: http://www.fairtrade.net/our_partners.html

Fair Trade Federation: http://www.fairtradefederation.org/

Trans Fair USA: http://www.transfairusa.org/

Len Tischler has meditated for about 40 years and has taught hundreds of people to meditate. He has written and given talks about spirituality and meditation in the business world. Send your meditation questions to asklen [at] greenchicafe [dot] com for individual help. Stay tuned for The Daily Practice newsletter.


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