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Fair Trade: Are you respecting your producers?

While we may not know what exactly the ‘Fair Trade’ labels seen on many products in the market may mean, we subconsciously know they are the ‘better’ ones to buy. So, what exactly is this? Fair Trade is a global movement which acknowledges and respects every person, and their livelihood, who has been involved in the process of production. It encourages equal pay, education, opportunity, and safety for all.
Created in the 1990s, the Fair Trade Certificate is not easy to get. The label has led to such organisations educating producers and consumers on the need for ethical production. The process to obtain the label is a rigorous process and needs to be renewed every year. This ensures the protection of not just a farmer or an employee but our planet as a whole.
Securing the lives of farmers and emphasising on the need to respect every person’s work, fair trade is a sign of a healthy society. Saint Louis University has a series of fair trade shops for its students and staff. Plowsharing Crafts is a crafts shop that supports artisans from around the world. Established in 1985, they provide meaningful income for skilled artisans from around the globe by selling their products at Saint Louis University. The Zee Bee Market has a wide range of coffee, tea, craft products, food, etc. and the shop’s motto is to “shop the world…locally”. Francis Xavier College Church works in collaboration with this shop to organise a sale once in a while at the entrance of the church.
The world can be said to have truly progressed only when most underprivileged feel respected. In this world of injustice and exploitation, Fair Trade becomes a ray of hope that the world, after all, is not all going downhill.
N Malavika Mohan