October is Fair Trade Month
Fair trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, shoppers, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first. Fair trade practices support responsible companies, empower farmers and workers, and protects the environment.
Fair trade practices require paying farmers and producers a fair wage. It also means that trading partnerships are based on reciprocal benefits and mutual respect; that prices paid to producers reflect the work they do; that producers share decision making power; that health, safety, and wage laws are enforced; and that products are environmentally sustainable and conserve natural resources.
How do you know if a product is fair trade?
In the U.S. there are 5 widely recognized labels: Fair Trade International, Fair Trade U.S.A., Fair for Life, the World Fair Trade Organization and the Fair Trade Federation. The first three are certifiers and the last two are membership groups. Look for these symbols when you shop.
Oryana has been selling fair trade products for many years. Our purchasing guidelines state that we are committed to prioritizing and selecting fairly traded products, especially those that are certified. Several of our vendors go a step beyond fair trade and deal directly with farmers and suppliers. Higher Grounds Coffee in Traverse City is one such company. Higher Grounds nurtures relationships with coffee farmers in Central and South America, Africa, and Sumatra.
In addition to coffee, we also stock fair trade sugar, chocolate, tea, olive oil, wine, jewelry, clothing, body care products, flowers, fresh produce, and various packaged grocery products.
You can support fair trade by purchasing fair trade products which are available at co-ops and some other stores, as well as online. Each purchase of a Fair trade product can make a real difference for farmers and workers around the world.