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The title of this article is disturbing. The concepts of Organic and Fair Trade are extremely important to structure (restoring) a sustainable society. Fortunately is that the accreditations are not mutually exclusive and in fact complement each other perfectly.
First, a word about certification. In our current market, 3rd party certification is essential to both reasonable and organic trade. As the marketplace for both fair trade and organic grows numerous organizations would rather alter the meaning than to alter their practices. We are seeing this now in the fair trade coffee market place. As time goes on a search for fair trade coffee is a growing number of likely to show up non-certified “fair trade” coffee, which is most likely just a marketing rouse to bring in ethical consumers. In a recent search of ebay for fair trade coffee 90% of the results were not 3rd party accredited, and upon additional evaluation most looked really suspect. We have actually seen this already in the organic market. How many products marketed to organic customers are in fact certified? Companies have greened their names however not their practices. Without non-biased third party certification of reasonable or natural trade we are delegated trust self interested parties who will only benefit from that trust. Look at the labels a product caries, look into the requirements of that certification and make a notified choice. Know what labels you trust and know the ones that you feel are deceptiveness. With fair trade Transfair is presently the only accreditation agency, so look for the fair trade label.
The principle of growing organic is essential to the preservation of our environment. Fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides leak into the ground polluting our groundwater and it likewise runs off the fields and into regional water resources. When forest are cleared for the planting of fields much of the topsoil is deteriorated and transported in neighboring streams to the nearby lake where it deposits the sediment, filling the lake. Dealing with the environment to prevent this disintegration, natural coffee farmers preserve the fertility of the land by growing coffee in the shade, where coffee was implied to grow. This shade grown coffee supplies the migratory birds with habitat and is hence called bird friendly. The concept of organic surpasses protecting the environment and extends to protecting the people who work in the fields. A number of the chemicals used in farming have been revealed to cause cancer along with lots of other health issues. These concerns are multiplied when an individual is repeatedly exposed to the sprays, like the farmers. How many lifelong farmers labored to offer our society with food and are now experiencing cancer (my grandpa is among them)? Some studies have actually revealed that natural methods even protect those who consume the fruits( even after they are washed), and likewise secure residents who drink the water.
When it comes to reasonable trade coffee certification, “reasonable” has an objective meaning through the certification requirements of Transfair. One of the requirements of fair trade accreditation it that a premium is paid for organic coffee, presently a full 15 cents more per pound than simply routine reasonable trade. Many fair trade farmers have switched to natural methods and are now actively restoring the rain forest in order to receive this premium.
Well there is plenty of coffee out there labeled as not fair however natural trade. Organic is great, however by itself it is not sustainable, we must ensure that the people who grow it are effectively compensated otherwise they are put in a financial position which lends itself to decisions with negative environmental repercussions. Fair trade does not complete with natural however it does make sure it is fiscally sustainable for the manufacturers, thus making sure future supply in our current economy.
This is why the reasonable trade model works. It makes sure the monetary security of the farmers through fair prices, access to non-predatory loans and capital needed to market and offer their products.
The outcomes of fair trade have been fantastic:
* Organic techniques are being used and taught
* Community infrastructure is being built/rebuilt
* Clear water
* Erosion control
* Babies in school
* Quality items through quality methods
* Adult education
* Secure families
* and sustainability
Next time you purchase organic coffee or tea make sure it is also fair trade certified by Transfair. When they are offered, demand that your local grocer carry reasonable trade fruits.
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