No matter where your food is grown, it’s important that everyone involved in getting your food from the field to your plate is receiving a fair wage and working in safe conditions.
Some of our favourite products—like tea and coffee, bananas, sugar or cocoa—are grown by people who are especially vulnerable to exploitation. In developing countries where these products are commonly grown, workers’ rights are often not protected, and the long supply chains involved in getting the products to our supermarkets mean that often the grower isn’t left with enough money to live on.
Buying products with the Fairtrade mark guarantees that small scale producers receive a fair minimum income (or higher) for their crop or their work. Their cooperative will also receive an additional premium to be invested in business or community improvement. Fairtrade helps ensure the safety and rights of workers, and includes standards that protect the environment. Other Fair Trade certifications that guarantee minimum prices and a premium include Fair for Life, Fair Wild and WFTO.
So next time you go shopping for tea and coffee, chocolate or cocoa, sugar, spices or bananas—to name just a few—look out for a Fair Trade certification mark. Fair Trade products are widely available so, if you can’t find any, let your local shop know you’d like to see more in store; Fairtrade Foundation has a range of free campaign materials available on their website, which can help you explain the benefits.