Making A Choice for Fair Trade

May 25, 2023

What it means to be a Fair Trade Company

There’s plenty of talk these days about the rising price of groceries and other goods.

Price is often a determining factor when you’re making decisions about what to buy. What else do you consider when you purchase a product? Do you think about quality? Are you concerned about where your food or other product comes from? Do you care about the people who made it, and their working conditions?

What if you knew that spending a little more can make a big difference. If you’re choosing a Fair trade product, you can be part of a change for the positive. Since May is Fair Trade Month in Canada, let’s take a look at what that means, and what it means for you when you’re shopping.

What is Fair Trade?

You may have heard of Fair trade and wondered exactly what that means. Fair trade is a global movement that works to build a model of trade that helps everyone on the supply chain.

Fair trade helps ensure:

  • better prices for producers
  • decent working conditions
  • no child labour
  • sound environmental practices
  • strong business relationships between producers, companies, and consumers

Here are a few other principles of Fair Trade:

  1. Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers. 
  2. Transparency, accountability, and capacity building.
  3. Payment at a fair price.
  4. Gender equity.
  5. Good working conditions.

Dealing with child labour is vital. So is supporting women, since 70% of the world is fed by small-scale farmers, many of whom are women. 

The word “fair” also means more than paying a fair wage. It means that trading partnerships are based on reciprocal benefits and mutual respect. It means that producers share decision making power and are paid based on the work they do. It also means that national health, safety, and wage laws are enforced, along with the important principle of conserving natural resources and making or growing environmentally sustainable products.

What Products Are Certified As Fair Trade?

When you’re shopping, look for the FAIRTRADE Mark to find one of the thousands of certified products available across Canada. Fairtrade Canada certifies coffee, chocolate, tea, fruit, flowers, textiles, and many other products. Watch for the blue and green Fairtrade Mark, which means the product has met rigorous and independently audited social, economic and environmental standards. These organizations, brands and products are part of the Fairtrade International system.  

Or look for the Fair Trade Federation logo, as it indicates that a company has been verified to practice fair trade principles in every aspect of their business. There’s also the World Fair Trade Organization, and direct trade companies that practice fair trade directly with producers. Watch for fair trade information when you’re choosing at the grocery store, or check for certified products online before heading to the store. 

You may question the price, which is sometimes—but not always—higher than mass-produced goods. For most Fair Trade commodities, there is a Fairtrade Minimum Price. This is established by product and region to cover the cost of sustainable production and serve as a vital safety net for farmers and workers. They are protected from market volatility and can then depend on a stable income and plan for their future.

Here’s one example.

Equifruit was established in 2006 and is Canada’s leading Fairtrade-certified banana importer. Equifruit knows  “exactly where our bananas come from, the names of farmers who picked them, even the date they did it. This level of detail is the secret to seeing commodities as communities.” It’s also certified by Ecocert and the Partners in Protection Program. 

Fairtrade month provides all of us the chance to step back and consider the social, ecological, and economic impacts of things we consume in our everyday lives.

Our Supply Chain Is Fair-Trade And Beyond!

At the African Bronze Honey Company, we follow the principles of fair trade throughout our supply chain.

Here’s how. 

Our honey provides sustainable income for more than 10,000 beekeepers. Its production sustains entire communities while employing environmentally-friendly regenerative harvesting practices. 

It’s also good for the environment because it helps to preserve pristine forests in south-central Africa. 

The 10,000 beekeepers behind African Bronze Honey have helped forests that were previously under intense pressure from rampant deforestation, which results in marginalized people without income. Instead, our beekeepers provide an alternative to deforestation, while combating climate change and providing a sustainable income.

Our business is proud to be a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation, and our values and products are sustainable, good for the environment, and empower local communities. We go through a review process every year to maintain our status as a verified member. The Fair Trade Federation’s mission is to “grow the global movement of trade that values the health of the planet, and the labour, dignity, and equality of all people.” 

Ten Thousand Villages is one of the most recognized names in fair trade, and others include Dr. Bronner’s and  JusTea. The Fair Trade Federation has a handy list of fairtrade businesses on their website, where you can search by name, country, product specialties and more. You’ll find us there! 

African Bronze Honey is also a B Corp, which is a business that passes a rigorous process of evaluation, reviewing how we do business and ranking our performance. We have been named Best For The World Changemakers three years in a row.

Our honey is also good for you. Raw and unpasteurized, it contains the highest concentrations of honey’s natural benefits and nutritional value. Our honey is certified organic by EcoCert, meaning you’re earring pure, high-quality, ethically sourced honey without any pesticides or chemicals.  

Make A Choice for Change 

The next time you’re shopping, consider where your product came from and what impact it has on the people behind it, as well as the environment from which it is taken. A fairtrade product is a choice for the future. Try purchasing one of our wide selection of wild forest honey and honey-infused goods. We believe in food that restores the planet instead of damaging it, creates sustainable jobs for marginalized remote communities, and protects forests from deforestation. 

What you choose does matter, so visit our store to find out more, or use our Store Locator to find a retailer near you.

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