Monday, November 1, 2010


Welcome to A Gentler World, a blog about fair trade. In the months and years to come, I hope to provide you with ideas and suggestions to help you make kinder choices as a global consumer, and to strengthen connections between buyers in developed countries and farmers, workers, and artisans in the developing world.

So what exactly is fair trade, and why should you care about it?

By ensuring fair pricing and decent working conditions, fair trade empowers workers in the developing world - some of the planet's poorest inhabitants - to take control of their lives and improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. Fair trade aims to address the common injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the weakest, poorest people in the world.

The Fair Trade Federation uses the following criteria to determine an organization's eligibility for fair trade certification:
  • Paying a fair wage in the local context.
  • Offering employees opportunities for advancement.
  • Providing equal employment opportunities for all people, particularly the most disadvantaged.
  • Engaging in environmentally sustainable practices.
  • Being open to public accountability.
  • Building long-term trade relationships.
  • Providing healthy and safe working conditions within the local context.
  • Providing financial and technical assistance to producers whenever possible.
Every dollar you spend sends a message. It is my hope that the discussions that will take place here will help you to align your dollar-messages with your true beliefs and ideals.

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