Saturday, May 12, is a very special day. Thanks to WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization) the second Saturday of May is set aside to celebrate Fair Trade.
Here’s why –
Many of the things we consume and use every day are made by modern day slaves around the world. While reports vary, there are between 40 – 45 million modern day slaves. In America, we have the luxury of being far removed from the origin of just about everything we consume. This puts us, as consumers, in a lot of ignorance and allows manufacturers and importers to excuse themselves, saying various components of the end product have changed hands so many times from origin to destination, that they cannot verify if slaves were involved or not. I’m calling that a bunch of BS. It’s the 21st Century. If we put a man on the moon in the 20th century, surely we can have clean supply chains in the 21st. Fair Trade business prove that every day.
So why do we celebrate Fair Trade?
– It prevents modern day slavery and human trafficking.
-It prevents child labor and enables parents to send their children to school, thus educating future leaders and world changers.
-It keeps families together. Children aren’t sent to work in the homes of the wealthy. Parents don’t have to leave their children with other family members to work in factories in the city.
-The producers are paid living wages and have no need to put themselves in harmful situations.
-Fair Trade certified businesses go through intense scrutiny to prove that the working conditions are safe. They have no fear of walls collapsing on them or toxic poisons that take years from them.
-It changes entire communities as producers have expendable income, which creates the opportunity for other businesses to begin in the area, thus boosting local economies.
– It is the opposite of a hand out. Fair Trade gives dignity to everyone involved.
– Supply chains are clear and there is no need to feel guilty when you know your purchase and consumption are creating a better world.
-Those who work in the Fair Trade supply line are more connected to the earth and are committed to environmental stewardship.
-It gives hope to the poorest of the poor, a reason to get up in the morning, a way to do more than survive.