Saturday, May 13, is World Fair Trade Day. Started by the WFTO in 2004, the second Saturday of May has been set aside as a day to not only raise awareness of Fair Trade but to celebrate the way it has impacted millions of lives.
Simply put, Fair Trade means:
Opportunities are created for the poor to have jobs.
In Fair Trade, the supply chain is accountable and transparent from start to finish. Unlike certain large chocolate chains who say they cannot know for sure where their raw cocoa comes from, Fair Trade chocolate can be traced to the source.
Fair Trade ensures prompt and fair payment for goods. For the Pebble toys we sell, it means we provide advance payment so they can purchase the raw materials and pay wages during their production period.
Fair Trade ensures safe and empowering working conditions. Not only does it insist that working conditions are physically safe, it must also be free of discrimination and harassment.
Fair Trade ensures the rights of children. This means no children are working to make the items in your shopping cart. It means the parents are making enough money to feed, cloth, protect and educate their children.
Fair Trade is kind to the earth. Environmentally sustainable practices are taught and implemented through the entire supply chain.
To sum it up, Fair Trade celebrates cultural diversity and gives a voice to the poor and marginalized. No one is forced to work in slave like conditions. Entire communities are transformed and local economies boosted. In countries that have no Job and Family Services, no Unemployment Benefits, no place to land when they are falling, this is huge. This is dignity for every person. This is loving your neighbor as yourself. This is reason to celebrate!