How do I know if a product I buy is a fair trade product?
Read the label. If it says "Fair Trade Certified," the product has met
standards set by Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International. FLO, which was
set up in 1997, guarantees that products sold with a Fairtrade label conform to
Fairtrade standards and contribute to the development of disadvantaged producers
In Canada, TransFair independently audits and certifies fair trade goods. But
not everything that carries some form of fair trade label has received official
certification. In 2006, more than 450 tonnes of coffee sold in Canada with fair
trade labels were not officially certified. That has fair trade advocates
calling for tougher rules.
Jeff Moore, who founded the country's first fair-trade coffee co-operative, Just
Us in Grand Pré, N.S., wants Industry Canada to protect the term. He says that
the federal government should regulate certification. Federal regulations would
mean that companies wanting to use a fair trade label would be subject to
mandatory rules or face fines.
What are the key elements of fair trade?
• The producer is paid a fair price which covers not only the costs of
production but enables production which is socially just and environmentally
• Helps develop a producer's ability to remain independent.
• Helps provide a safe and healthy working environment for producers. Children
are not to be exploited as cheap labourers.
• Women's work is properly valued and rewarded.
• Encourages better environmental practices and responsible methods of
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