WHAT DOES ‘FAIR-TRADE’ REALLY MEAN?
Globally, the Fair Trade network certifies numerous food products including coffee, tea and herbs, cocoa, fresh fruit and vegetables, sugar, beans and grains, flowers, nuts, oils and butters, honey, spices and wine. A “Fair Trade Certified” label ensures that equitable trade practices are in place at every level of the supply chain from the farmers, to the workers, to the surrounding community for that product. Principles of the certification include fair prices, credit, labor conditions, community development and environment sustainability. “Workers must receive fair wages, safe and equitable working conditions and the right to join trade unions,” says Registered dietitian Rene Ficek. “Child or forced labor is completely prohibited -- crops must also be grown, produced and processed in a manner that supports social development, economic development and environmental development."