Fairtrade: trade for a world in crisis

September 24, 2015 1:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Many people have felt powerless in recent weeks, as the refugee crisis in Europe has continued to unfold. Some people may have been able to give direct assistance, or financial help. Many are also contemplating how best to prevent such crises reoccurring: how they, as individuals, can help to make the world a somewhat safer, better place.

Naturally Good Food stocks a range of Fairtrade products.

Can buying Fairtrade help?

We have one – small – answer to this at Naturally Good Food. It’s not going to change the world overnight, but it’s part of the steady drip-drip of improvement in working and living conditions that might give communities in difficulties some hope for the future.

This small answer comes in the form of our Fairtrade products. Ranging from tea to chocolate drops, these arrive with us from a variety of organisations. For some of these organisations, the Fairtrade label is a nice ‘tick in the box’: they’ve made a great product and are delighted to be able to source it in a Fairtrade way. For other companies, promoting fair trade is the very point of their organisation: the wonderful foodstuffs they manufacture are really just happy by-products!

To receive the Fairtrade mark, in the UK, companies must meet a set of standards. The Fairtrade mark indicates that certain ingredients have been produced by small-scale organisations or plantations, where workers’ rights are protected and environmental issues addressed. A minimum price is guaranteed for the product and an additional Fairtrade premium paid. The overall aim is to benefit small-scale farmers and workers through secure trade, rather than aid.

It’s worth stressing that many of the products we stock come from companies who go far beyond the basic Fairtrade standards. Some reach out to the most marginalised producers; others ensure that the principles of fair involvement run throughout their production line – Quinola, for instance, employ people with learning difficulties in France to package their goods.

The Fairtrade premium is an extra payment on top of the guaranteed minimum price. It’s put into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use, as they see fit, to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. They may invest in education or healthcare, for example, or roads, bridges, electricity or clean water. The premium makes the goods only slightly more expensive for the consumer – our Fairtrade dark muscovado sugar works out at just 10p more than the same quantity of non-Fairtrade dark muscovado.

Take a closer look at a few of our Fairtrade products and brands:

  • Quinola: award-winning organic, Fairtrade quinoa, in a variety of colours and forms. Read their Fairtrade story here.
  • Equal Exchange: the highest paid employee of Equal Exchange may not earn more than four times the amount the lowest-paid employee is paid. Good for them – and good sugar too!
  • Plamil: suppliers of dairy-free chocolate for caterers and individuals, which is also, wonderfully, fairly traded.
  • Infinity: Fairtrade quinoa and various types of rice, in bulk.
  • Clipper: for Fairtrade coffee and tea
  • Pukka: for Fairtrade tea
  • Traidcraft: sources sugar from some of the most marginalised groups worldwide.

To see a good selection of our Fairtrade products, click here.

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This post was written by Yzanne

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