I think it is very important to point out that that most of us probably do not think about if the item they are buying is ethically manufactured or grown unless it’s branded with a ‘Fair Trade’ logo.
Our first priority is the items cost and the second would be it’s perceived quality, if a ‘Fair Trade’ item is equal to or at least very similar in price we may give it a try.
From my own point of view I had always assumed that ‘Fair Trade’ marked goods meant higher price at the checkout but this is not always the case and a mistake on my part to assume otherwise.
Before I started this post I had never heard of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) or The British Association for Fair Trade Shops & Suppliers (BAFTS) but both of these organisations were around before ‘FairTrade’.
So what is ethically produced goods about ?
The five lowest ranking companies as listed by ethicalconsumer.org
Asda / Walmart
Their ‘Crimes’ vary between slave labour, tax avoidance, poor treatment of suppliers, etc etc full write up is in link provided above.
The Fair Trade logo is recognized pretty much world wide, but what does it actually mean as a whole ?
Excerpts taken from the Fairtrade website. I highly suggest going to their site to read about what they do as their site is very informative.
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
Alternatives to ‘FairTrade’
World Fair Trade Organization
WFTO members are social entrepreneurs and artisans, farmers and campaigners, innovators and Fair Trade pioneers. They are spread across more than 70 countries.
Verified Fair Trade enterprises
A Fair Trade enterprise has Fair Trade as its identity. This means a full commitment to the 10 principles of Fair Trade as their core mission. WFTO members have been assessed by their peers and have been independently audited to confirm this. Our Standard looks at every aspect of a business and confirms whether it is truly a Fair Trade enterprise. We verify that the entire business and its systems for managing their supply chains have embraced Fair Trade.
The WFTO label
The label is the symbol of Fair Trade enterprise. Verified WFTO members use the label to tell consumers, customers and their communities about their identity as a verified Fair Trade enterprise. As members, many can use the WFTO label on their products.