On July 6-7 2018, Cameron’s hosted a Fair Trade Festival, featuring three of our fair trade lines. We will have enhanced inventory from World Finds, Global Mamas and Maggie’s Organics. Therefore, in the month of July, rather than focus on an individual artist, we focused on what it means to be Fair Trade Certified. The Fair Trade industry reminds us that the products we sell and buy are directly connected to the livelihood of others. The Fair Trade industry insists on higher standards for farmers, workers and fishermen. In order for a company to be considered Fair Trade certified, it must adhere to the following four commitments.
First, the income paid to workers must fulfill basic household needs. Beyond that, workers must be paid enough to then have additional funds to invest in their lives and work. In many cases, workers are able to start their own businesses.
Second, the work must lead to empowerment. Fair trade workers must be empowered to make choices for themselves and ultimately make choices that are for the good of their community. This empowerment must be regardless of gender, status in the community or position on the globe.
Third, the fair trade workers must be charged with how to invest the revenues generated through their businesses. When companies are committed to Fair Trade, they are creating a pathway for low income artisans to be helped out of poverty. Part of their commitment involves investing in community development funds. For every product sold, the business pays an additional amount into a fund which goes directly back to the community of origin. Depending on the community, the investment could be used in the attainment of cleaner water for their community, a strengthening of the education system or greater access to healthcare.
And finally, the fair trade community is committed to keeping the planet healthy for future generations. The use of harmful chemicals is prohibited and there must be a concerted effort to protect natural resources.
This was an opportunity to continue to share the unique stories of these three Fair Trade companies.