Two weeks ago (before my baby got sick…and then my husband got sick, and then I got sick. Whew!), I talked about direct trade being a better choice than fair trade.
I think we need to take a step back and lay a little groundwork for that statement.
Fair trade is a good choice.
Wherever money is involved, though, someone is going to try to take advantage of someone else, even in the fair trade world. Even if it means child slavery, exploitation, and sub-par product.
“Fair trade” comes with the following:
but sometimes companies will corrupt consumer desire to do something good with their purchases for their own financial gain. A (sometimes small) percentage of fair trade ingredients will be included in a product and then stamped with a “fair trade” label, leading the buyer to believe that the higher price tag means more care and thought was put into the entire process of getting it into their home.
Sometimes companies will achieve fair trade certification, but leave farms and factories to overseers that are seldom checked on or visited, leaving practices to disintegrate from their once-high standard.
This is one of the reasons The Social Eater exists. I don’t recommend any companies or co-ops to you without researching to find out that policies and practices are in place to ensure high-quality products and treatment of workers. The term direct trade is still fair trade, but it comes with more transparency and overall higher standards, which is why I tend to favor it…in actual practice. There are several different groups that offer fair trade certification. What is most important in making purchasing decisions is not necessarily the label, but the actions that take place- yet another reason for all the research and a need to process through this blog.
So far, I have been able to recommend:
Counter Culture Coffee
Once Again Nut Butters