Supporting Fair Trade
Most small-farmers live on less than $1.25/day in developing countries, according to fairtradeamerica.org. Fair Trade products help to support a sustainable livelihood for farmers and workers by reinvesting the price premium back into their communities.
Free Market Economies generally provide a healthy environment for business, workers and consumers alike in wealthy nations with appropriate government regulation. But what happens if there are few rules or little enforcement to protect workers, farmers, children and the environment in developing countries? How can conscious consumers, retailers and wholesalers make a difference for those with less influence at the other end of the supply chain?
Fair Trade is a social movement approach towards commerce that allows small producers in developing countries to be paid fairly for their goods. This is achieved through a “fair trade premium”, where the product is sold in developed countries at set rate above the general market price. The “fair trade premium” is why fair trade products cost more, and it is also the money that goes back to the farmers and their communities. Fair Trade certifying organizations oversee the process and ensure the program executes full circle back to the grower.
Four Seasons Produce began ripening and supplying Fair Trade Organic Bananas from Oke’/Equal Exchange to retailers in 2007. Since that time the program has grown significantly thanks to the strong support from many natural foods stores, food coops and wholesale customers. Together, we’re making a difference for small banana farmers and their communities in Ecuador and Peru!
These days, over 90% of the organic bananas we sell are Fair Trade, even though the fruit costs more than regular organic bananas. We’ve also connected with more fair trade producers in commodities outside of organic bananas including Fair Trade Organic Blueberries, Apples and Pears from Argentina; plus Fair Trade Organic Avocados and Peppers from Mexico, just to name a few.
To learn more about fair trade and some of our fair trade producers, please check out their websites:
Would you pay more for bananas at the store if you knew it was empowering small farmers and helping them to get prompt payment of fair prices and wages? Would your customers pay more?