By seeking out Fair Trade products, you can ensure your purchases make life better for the workers whose labor brings you those products. Fair Trade businesses commit to fair wages, cooperative workplaces, consumer education, environmental sustainability, respect for cultural identity, and public accountability.
Our Fair Trade Gems program is part of a larger movement of companies in many industries who promote ethical practices toward employees and the environment. The ideas and principles behind Fair Trade have been gathering more and more support among consumers and businesses. Coffee is the most widely available Fair Trade product, with over 100 roasters offering Fair Trade-certified coffee.
The Fair Trade industry in North America and the Pacific Rim grew 37 percent over the past year to $250 million, according to the 2003 Report on Fair Trade Trends, sponsored by the Fair Trade Federation and the International Federation for Alternative Trade.
"This report demonstrates that Fair Trade businesses-companies that empower economically disadvantaged farmers and artisans, and respect the environment-are growing and thriving," says Chris O'Brien, Associate Director of the Fair Trade Federation.
Large corporations are taking notice. Procter & Gamble, the largest seller of coffee in the U.S., announced that it would introduce Fair Trade CertifiedTM coffee products through its specialty coffee division, Millstone. McDonald's in Europe, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts all now sell Fair Trade coffee.
A small change in your shopping decisions can make a big difference in people's lives.
Visit these web sites for more information about Fair Trade:
Fair Trade Federation
Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International
Oxfam International's Make Trade Fair Organization
TransFair USA: Fair Trade certification for Coffee, Tea, Fruit, and Chocolate
Fair Trade Resource Network