Trendsetting: Fair Trade!
Today’s blog is about Trendsetting, creating awareness, and making a difference on a GLOBAL SCALE!
I was fortunate enough to have an incredible man with an incredible vision come and speak to my class tonight! This man’s name is Paul Rice. Paul is the president and CEO of Fair Trade USA. Click here to check out Paul’s Company Fair Trade USA. You may or may not be familiar with the term “fair trade”, if not, not to worry I’ll explain it to you!
When you see this logo in stores and on products it is because Paul’s company has certified them as “fair trade”.
WHAT IS FAIR TRADE?
Fair trade is a social movement that is based on helping farmers and producers in developing countries. It’s goal is to help create better working conditions and environments and to promote sustainability within these communities. Fair Trade demands and helps create safe and better working environments for producers. By making small local farmers into big market traders. It in turn produces higher social and environmental standards. Fair trade’s main focus is on exporting from developing countries and importing them into developed countries.
NOT SO FUN FACT: While it costs thousands if not more for us to go to school in the US it costs about $200 for a child to go to school for ONE YEAR in most developing countries.
Before Fair Trade some of these farmers were only making $200 a year for their entire crop. Obviously, this leaves them with barely enough money to get by let alone send their children through school. Fair trade allows producers to sometimes make up to ten times that amount.
With this money they can send their children to school, buy mules to carry their goods instead of on their backs, transforming their dirt floors to paved floors in their homes, and so so much more!
FAIR TRADE SUCCESS STORY
Paul Rice shared this story with our Entrepreneurship in Society class this evening. This story is about taking risks, a father: Santiago, a daughter: Eolanda, and a successful business venture.
Santiago is a fourth generation coffee farmer and was also one of the first farmers to work with Paul Rice. With a few years of hesitation, Santiago finally agreed to partner with Paul. He decided to take a leap of faith and trust that both he and Paul had the ability to transform his small coffee farm of 2 acres into a large and profitable market trader in the coffee industry (with the same amount of land…sustainable, yet profitable).
If Santiago hadn’t taken this huge risk a lot of things wouldn’t have happened. Probably the most important was how it affected his daughter, Eolanda. Eolanda was the FIRST member from their community to not only go entirely through high school BUT TO ALSO go entirely through college as well! Eolanda is now back in Nicaragua practicing medicine! WOW!
None of this would have been possible had people like you not bought fair trade goods.
How can you become FAIR TRADE?
You can start off by buying fair trade products, like coffee, chocolate, banana’s, sugar, clothing, tea, honey, cotton, wine, fruits, veggies, and more! To know if something is “Fair Trade Certified” look for this logo:
BE A TRENDSETTER
Another way that you can help is by spreading AWARENESS of Fair Trade. Just tonight after lecture I was in the grocery store and asked if they sold any fair trade goods. The response to my question was “I’m sorry I’m not familiar with what fair trade is.”
By asking, you, the consumer, will be creating a DEMAND for fair trade goods. Any smart business wants to make their customers happy and coming back…YOU have the power to create this DEMAND!
34% of Americans are aware of Fair Trade, what it is and the benefits of it.
While 80% of Europeans are aware of the Fair Trade practice!
Let’s go people, lets catch up to Europe and lets start making a positive impact! YES!
Most importantly you will be making the world a better place! Can’t say no to that…can you?
I hope you liked this weeks post! Like I’ve said before please feel free to leave ANY comments or questions! I am happy to answer any question, and promise to answer ALL comments! This blog is here for YOU, what would you like to see happening here? The only way i’ll know is if you leave a comment! 🙂
As always…Nothing but peace, love, & happiness!