Is Fair trade really fair? Just because the word “Fair” is in the name of the paradox doesn’t mean it is. The problem is we as a community aren’t making it fair. Each and every day food is thrown away or wasted without a single thought as to who may not be eating tonight. As a result, 78% of people said that they have refused to buy a fair trade product on ethical grounds at least once and that people are oblivious to the fact that fair trade products make a huge impact on the less fortunate.
We live in this system that ruthlessly targets us, manipulates us and before we know it enslaves us. Meanwhile almost half of the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day, slaving away, growing the food that we consume. And no matter how gifted, talented or intelligent they may be, they just aren’t capable of breaking the cycle. Everything that we consume is produced by human hands; the very same hands that we use to waste that same food. Whether it is food grown in farms or clothes sown by children and women, these people that grow the crops that sustain us aren’t often acknowledged. As a matter of fact they’re the ones who aren’t getting anything in return. They’re the ones who don’t get a taste of a single grain of rice that they produce. These people that we exploit aren’t in our dreams when we think about the next food we will consume and how we will prepare it.
These people are just like us; the same thing that we want for ourselves should be the same thing we want for them, but that’s not how we perceive it. It’s disheartening to think that what we waste could have aided an increase in a child’s life expectancy. We, as a nation, only look at what we receive rather than what we give.
Free trade and fair trade may sound very similar; however, they are very different. Fair trade is about changing the terms of trade; making it more dignified, more justifiable, and more equitable for those involved in trade such as us, the consumers, and farmers, the producers.
Free trade on the other hand is the agreement between 2 or more countries to trade freely without tariffs, quotas or trade blocs with the WTO’s permission; however, this would only be between developed countries or countries with former colonial ties.
So, what can we do about Fair Trade?
Buy a Fair Trade product. Just that simple step can make a change to multiple people’s lives.
Ensure you are not throwing or wasting your food; be sensible and really think, each day that you buy a bottle of milk or a bag of vegetables, “Am I really going to finish this?”. “Will it go to waste?”. “What are other people eating tonight?”.
Think about the lives you’ll be making an impact on. 3 billion people to be exact. So THINK FAIR TRADE and make a change.