In the 1940s,
some churches raised funds for poverty-stricken communities by selling the handicrafts
created by the poor communities. This was the start of the Fair Trade movement.
Now, Fair Trade goods, like coffee, tea, cocoa, wine, nuts, clothes, handicrafts
and jewelry, amount to $500 million in annual sales! The Fair Trade movement is
growing as people realize that they can help alleviate poverty and protect the
environment by choosing Fair Trade products.
Trade means that the item has been made or grown by workers who work in
safe conditions and are paid a livable wage. Fair Trade promotes gender equality
and safe environmental practices. Workers are often part of a co-op, benefiting
the entire community, and there is no middleman to take a cut of the profits.
So, Fair Trade goods are generally not more expensive and are of equal or better
quality than conventionally produced goods.
the late-1980s, a "certified Fair Trade" label made it easy for consumers to identify
fair trade goods. Today there are more than 3000 Fair Trade grassroots organizations
in 60 countries working with over a million small-scale workers. Fair Trade products
are sold in thousands of Fair Trade shops and in a growing number of traditional
supermarkets, shops and restaurants.
Trade Day, on the second Saturday in May, is an opportunity to educate your community
about Fair Trade products, and the Fair Trade movement's goal to create a more
equitable, just and sustainable model for ALL international trade.