What is "Fair Trade"?
Imagine that you are a farmer, and at 4 am, you wake up and sluggishly get out of bed, forcing yourself to push the buttons on the coffee machine to get your hot cup of coffee ready. You scratch your face and yawn, rub your eyes as the wrinkles on your face appear with definition and you decide to get dressed for the day while the coffee is brewing. You head to your room, and put on your denim overalls, you two pair of socks to keep your feet warm in the morning and a long-sleeved t-shirt. You head to grab your cup of coffee, head outside and check the shack and look at your basic equipment that you use on your farm every day. You glance over your land and realize it is finally time to harvest. You put in about 12 hours of hard, back-breaking labor a day, with no breaks, and decide to sell your crops to a local manager who has forced you into a contract to sell, regardless of the buying price. You are told that this year, your crops will sell for twice below market value simply because of pay cuts from crop managers.
If you are like us, you see the term, "Fair Trade Certified" vividly displayed at most coffee houses, including Yimmies. What exactly do these coffee houses mean by Fair Trade? The FairTradeUSA.org defines Fair Trade as, "Fair Trade Certified products were made with respect to people and planet." Simply, Fair Trade certified products ensure that contractors, such as Monsanto for example (boooo!), cannot taint products and trap farmers into a income cut-forced contract that does not allow farmers to live on a fair wage. Fair Trade allows individuals to:
- Make a livable income;
- Provide a healthy crop for harvest, free of hazardous chemicals;
- No GMOs;
- Ensure a safe working environment for all farmers;
- Help surrounding farmers and business' thrive within their community;
- Build long and lasting relationships between business' and farmers;
- Not forcing farmers into fixed worked schedules;
- Help build smaller businesses in third world countries such as hospitals, food markets and much more..;
- No Child Labor.
The good from utilizing fair trade is far beyond the coffee community, helping farmers of all products such as sugar, flour, rice and many more. It spreads the good that we are able to utilize within our country to others, that may find impossible to accomplish. Yimmies prides ourselves to know that all products and goods we purchase will come from a Fair Trade Certified business or raw good market in which we can help and reach out to other communities in other countries that will help grow the world into a more organic and enriched culture. It means doing more with our money and our daily tasks with a strong cycle of helping those that feed us, so that they can feed their children and their communities.
If you would like to find out more about Fair Trade Certified and how the process all starts, head to FairTradeUSA.org to find out how you can donate, or help the communities around you, or certify your business to be fair trade certified.
Do good, drink coffee, and smile!
Thank you to reddit user @NewClearHollowCost for the topic of discussion.