The fair trade movement in the US is growing, and that's good news! But even as demand for fair trade products increases, there are still millions of individuals working in agriculture around the world living in extreme poverty. World Fair Trade Day aims to bring more awareness to the fair trade cause. This year, more than awareness, we're trying to increase sales of fair trade products so that more money can get back to the farmers working in fair trade. We hope that as demand grows, so will supply, and that means that more farmers will join the fair trade system and more money will be transferred out of the conventional economy into one that is fair and sustainable. Green America and Fair Trade Campaigns want to bring sustainable livelihoods to all this World Fair Trade Day. Here are three crucial actions to deepen your involvement in the Fair Trade Movement:
1.) Request fair trade produce at your local supermarket. You already know that purchasing fair trade products empowers workers around the world to lift themselves out of poverty and grow their communities. But how many of us stop to think about the countless farmers and artisans behind the non-fair trade products that line supermarket shelves? These individuals often face substandard living conditions, low wages, even starvation. In order to help these farmers and artisans we have to continue to increase the demand for fair trade products. Click here to print a Product Request Card. Then, submit it to your supermarket chain.
2.) Educate yourself about the reality of many fruit and vegetable farmworkers. Last December the L.A. Times investigation “Product of Mexico” exposed the poverty, hunger and unsafe working conditions that non-Fair Trade farmers confront on a daily basis. The prospect of being fired forces many farmers and workers to endure these abuses silently. Getting even one new fair trade product into your local supermarket has a tremendous impact in the lives of hundreds of farmers and artisans throughout the world. It can mean having a satisfying dinner instead of going to bed hungry, getting life-saving medical care instead of slowly succumbing to treatable illnesses, and creating an education system for one’s children that will prevent them from falling into poverty.
3.) Start or join a Fair Trade Campaign. Click here to see our Fair Trade Campaign Map. Will you help your community increase fair trade product availability this World Fair Trade Day? Show your concern for others by demanding food that feeds the people who grow and pick it. Make your voice count!