October is Fair Trade month, which aims to raise awareness on why Fair Trade matters, and promotes buying and using products with the Fair Trade Certified label on them that impacts the lives of farmers and workers in developing countries. They are the people who grow, sew and harvest our favorite products.
Some of the lowest paid laborers in the world are farmers and workers. The inadequate income these people earn make life really hard to live, support their families and build flourishing communities. But through this non-profit organization, these workers are able to prosper and help their neighborhoods.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade allows consumers to buy quality products from over 70 countries knowing that each purchase matters.
Every product with a Fair Trade Certified label on them, and there are thousands of products, lets you know that workers and farmers have gotten a fair deal for all of their hard work. They are given better wages, safer working conditions, environmental protection, and the ability to live sustainable lives and live in thriving communities.
Within the growing sea of ethical labels, Fair Trade remains unique. It is one of the only certifications whose purpose is to empower farmers and workers to fight poverty through trade, and to protect the environment. It is also the only certification that provides a direct economic benefit to producers in the form of guaranteed premiums.
There are over 1.3 million individual farmers and workers, which totals to about 5 million beneficiaries. Since 1998, an additional income of $350 million has been earned. Over 900 companies and brands offer Fair Trade products. These certified items include:
- Wine & spirits
- Home goods
- Body care
A few brands worth mentioning that offer Fair Trade Certified products are: Frontier Natural Products Co-Op, Nutiva, Runa, Lake Champlain Chocolates, EatingEvolved, Arrowhead Mills and Sunspire.
I’d like to give a big shout-out to these companies and say ‘thank you’ for participating in such a great cause. They are helping families all over the world live better lives.
The Lives Fair Trade Impacts
By purchasing Fair Trade products, you help to improve the lives of millions across the globe. With every sale, farmers and workers earn an additional Community Development Premium, which is used to fund projects like education, healthcare and clean water that benefits entire communities.
I want to introduce to you two ladies that work under Fair Trade – Carmen Ortega (left), 32, and Jennifer Coronel (right), 21. They both work as banana workers at Cerro Azul in Ecuador and are very inspirational.
Carmen, a mother of an 8-year old boy, said, “My son receives help with his school supplies from the Fair Trade premium money, so I am very thankful for that.”
Jennifer, a mother of a 2-year old girl, said, “Through this job and the Fair Trade premium, we can sustain our children and help them grow. We hope you’ll give our organic bananas to your own kids, too!”
If you’d like to learn more about their Cooperative, you can check them out here.
How You Can Help
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty – how can you help?
It’s so easy to incorporate Fair Trade into your daily life. You just need to look for the certified labels on products you normally buy every time you shop. For example, instead of buying regular coffee, look for coffee with the Fair Trade Certified label on it.
Then help spread the word to your friends and family, or share on social media and use the hashtag #BeFair in your posts. You can share stories, videos and educational graphics, found on the Fair Trade website, about the people behind the products. It’s that simple!
Here are some other great ideas to help celebrate Fair Trade in the month of October.
And of course, you can always donate to the organization by going here.
Now on to this simple but delicious recipe for Dark Chocolate Banana Bread!
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 large ripe bananas, mushed
- 3/4 cup of honey, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 oz unsweetened cocao bar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add the coconut oil, coconut flour, eggs, baking soda, mashed bananas and 1/4 cup of honey.
- Mix with a spoon until well combined, place in the loaf pan and set aside.
- In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate bar and add the 1/2 cup of honey and mix until well combined.
- Pour over the top of the bread and place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.