“Fair trade” seems to be all the rage lately, but if you are like me, that doesn’t necessarily mean a full understanding of the term.
I first became acquainted with fair trade through our church, which sold a few fair trade items once a month when we first joined. Since this was B.C. (Before Children), I didn’t see a need for coffee. Plus, the goods seemed grossly overpriced, so I didn’t pay much attention and certainly never bothered to buy anything.
As seems to be my trend, fast forward a few years and not only do I have a huge appreciation for the dark caffeinated beverage (splash of milk and dash of coconut oil in mine, please!), but I also have become more interested in the idea of fair trade.
So I decided to do a little research.
According to the simple definition found at Lutheran World Relief, “fair trade” is just “a trading partnership that seeks greater equity in international trade.”
Seems “fair”-ly simple (sorry, couldn’t resist!). Help farmers earn a living wage, help strengthen communities (fair trade policies ensure that labor laws are more closely adhered to, and provide an opportunity for farmers to invest in their communities), and help the environment (through sustainable practices encouraged by fair trade), all while I get my daily dose of caffeine?
And did you know that the term fair trade applies to more than just coffee? It can apply to everything from chocolate to tea, and–get this!–eco-palms for Palm Sunday services. Impressive!
I love my coffee, but I also love to put my values in action, and fair trade is a good way to do that. It may be more expensive, but considering all that it benefits, it seems like a relatively simple way to do my part.