fair trade

Give Thanks & Pay It Forward with Fair Trade

Fair trade cinnamon producers in Yen Bai Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Frontier Co‑op.

Fair trade cinnamon producers in Yen Bai Province, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Frontier Co‑op.

This Thanksgiving, consider paying your gratitude forward. The holiday meal is the perfect time to consider swapping out a few items on your shopping list for fair trade certified products. You get to enjoy delicious food while supporting life changing projects for the farmers who produced it.

Fair trade standards ensure that farmers and workers are paid a fair and consistent price for their crops and labor in markets that can be unstable or are poorly regulated. The standards also guarantee appropriate working conditions, prohibit child labor and protect worker safety on the job. In addition, a percentage of a fair trade product’s sales go into a community account. Workers vote on how to spend the money, usually opting to fund community development projects like building schools or clinics in their communities.

It might seem like a small thing to buy fair trade certified sugar instead of sugar that isn’t certified, but every purchase adds up. If everyone swapped out just one item at Thanksgiving, the single largest food holiday of the year, imagine the impact we could have! Just like gratitude is a small thing that yields big rewards in our lives, fair trade is a simple idea with profound results. Food co-ops are all about empowering people to make a difference in the world with their food choices, that’s why you’ll find a great selection of fair trade items at your co-op.

Many fair trade certified products naturally lend themselves to a Thanksgiving menu. Look for fair trade certified staples like olive oil, sugar, molasses, honey, cinnamon and vegetable shortening as well as fair trade coffee, tea and wine, where available. Choose fair trade pecans to make this tasty cranberry pecan skillet stuffing and look for fair trade almonds for this traditional green beans amandine.

For those who like to bring whole grains to the holiday table, make fair trade quinoa the star of this delicious quinoa, squash and cheddar casserole or use fair trade rice to boost this savory pilaf. If you plan for leftover turkey, buy a little fair trade wild rice to make this classic wild rice turkey soup extra nice.

Depending on your crowd, fair trade products can make for good dinner conversation, as well. Most fair trade products have an engaging story attached that your dinner guests may also appreciate. Fair trade certification makes it easy for us to make a difference in the world, now that’s something to celebrate!

Posted by permission from StrongerTogether.coop. Find more recipes and information about your food and where it comes from at www.strongertogether.coop.

Fair Trade for Farmers and Our Future

By: Co+op, stronger together

On May 12th, 2018, in over 70 countries around the globe, we celebrate World Fair Trade Day and the hard work, resilience, and innovation of small-scale farmers and artisans. And this May, Fair World Project is partnering with brands committed to working with farmers to bring home deals on their fair trade products along with offering more opportunities to get involved.

Members of the Norandino co-op, which consists of over 7,000 families in northern Peru.

Members of the Norandino co-op, which consists of over 7,000 families in northern Peru.

You may already be aware of some of the basics of fair trade: Fair prices paid directly to farmer organizations, premiums for organic production and community development.  Beyond that the fair trade movement is also supporting small-scale farmers as they tackle climate change, one of the biggest issues of our time.

From coffee to cacao, from mint fields in India to shea nut trees in Togo, small-scale farmers are combining traditional regenerative organic farming practices with new innovations. The result: the kind of food and farming systems that we need to build resilience and tackle climate change.

Plant a tree, grow the future

Far in the north of Peru lies one of the most fragile ecosystems in the face of climate change. Deforestation and the accompanying loss of freshwater springs and shade cover has left the land degraded and the surrounding communities impoverished and challenged.

Norandino co-operative has developed an ambitious reforestation program to engage the community, reforest the land, and grow a sustainable, green economy. With your help, they will plant 69,000 trees that will provide shade for coffee trees, as well as additional food and income for 64 small-scale farm families. And each of those trees also has the added benefit of sequestering carbon and helping restore the soil—it’s a win for communities and for all of us who live on this planet!

Fund the future of farming

This is the sort of project that is urgently needed in our changing climate, yet too often it’s hard for farming communities to get funding. That’s where Grow Ahead, Fair World Project’s crowdfunding initiative—and YOU—come in. Grow Ahead works to raise money for these hard-to-fund yet essential projects in farming communities.

This May, stop by your local co-op: Just $1 will buy one tree—and so many other benefits! Or go directly to growahead.org to donate. 

There will also be deals on all sorts of fair trade products. Try something new or stock up on an old favorite. Know that when you do so, you’re supporting fair prices for farmers, community development all around the globe, and the kind of regenerative organic food and farming systems that are good for all of us.

Fair trade brands committed to working with small-scale farmers & artisans

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Posted by permission from StrongerTogether.coop. Find more recipes and information about your food and where it comes from at www.strongertogether.coop.