Fair Trade

Fair Trade

Albert’s Organics and our parent company, UNFI, are proud to support Fair Trade products, including coffee, chocolate, bananas, mangoes and blueberries.

 

For farmers and farm workers throughout the developing world whose livelihoods depend on products that Americans enjoy every day such as coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas and other fresh fruits, survival can be a struggle. Low prices, market volatility and isolation often keep farmers in a cycle of poverty, unable to recover their cost of production. Families, communities and the environment all suffer as a result.

 

Fair Trade provides farming communities in over 50 developing countries with a proven solution to these challenges. The improved quality of life that these farmers enjoy does not come from charity or government aid, but rather from their own businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The system of Fair Trade supports:

  • Safe and empowering working conditions
  • Ensuring the rights of children
  • Cultivating enviromental stewardship
  • Respecting cultural identity
  • Economic sustainability
  • Access to healthcare
  • Funding of education
  • Empowering women

 

By giving farmers and farm workers direct access to international markets, and the tools and resources they need to succeed and thrive, Fair Trade makes sustainable local development possible. Fair Trade has empowered farmers to earn significantly higher incomes, and to build health, education and women’s programs benefiting an estimated five million people worldwide.

 

Fair trade, as we know it, began in 1946 when Edna Byler, a volunteer for Mennonite Central Committee visited a sewing class in Puerto Rico where she discovered the talent the women had for creating beautiful lace. She also witnessed first hand the extraordinary poverty in which they lived, despite their hard work. She began carrying these pieces back to the United States to sell and returning the money back to these groups directly. Her work grew into Ten Thousand Villages, which opened its first fair trade shop in 1958 and is now the largest Fair Trade retailer in North America.

 

The Fair Trade Certified™ seal guarantees that more of every dollar spent on a Fair Trade product makes it back to the men and women who grew it. Between 1999 and 2005, coffee farmers alone earned approximately $75 million in additional income selling to the U.S. Fair Trade market. A portion of all Fair Trade prices is reserved specifically for social and environmental projects. By the end of 2005, Fair Trade farmers and farm workers had earned more than $6.5 million in “social premiums” from the U.S. market, all while earning dramatically higher incomes. Democratically organized farmers and workers elect how to best invest these funds, based on their own local needs.

 

* This article was written using content from The Fair Trade Federation and Transfair USA