Healthy Body, Mind and World: Part 5



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This blog is what I chose to do for my Activism Project for my Environmental Earth Science Class. I chose to do a blog about healthy, eco-friendly food because eating healthy is very important to me and I think that being more eco-friendly should be important to everyone. This is our planet and if we keep polluting it the way we have been the effects of the pollution are just going to keep getting worse and worse, which is not good at all. In this blog I will show you how to make something healthy to eat or drink and how it impacts the environment positively. I will also let you know where you can purchase these healthy foods in Montreal.

Fair Trade Chocolate

Sometimes when I am craving something sweet I will have a piece of chocolate to soothe this strong desire. But I always make sure that it is Fair Trade chocolate.

 

Fair Trade chocolate can be purchased at Couffin Bio Inc. located at 355 Sherbrooke West, Montreal, Canada. You can identify a Fair Trade item by the certification on the product. There is Fair-trade and there is Fair Trade, and yes there is a difference. Fair Trade refers more to the organizations that follow the principals of fair trade, and to the movement as a whole. Fair-trade is used when referring to Fair-trade International’s certification and labeling system. This Fair-trade system makes it so that people can identify goods that are able to see what goods follow their standards of being a Fair-trade product, and what makes it a Fair-trade product.

Fair Trade is political or ethical consumer activism. Fair Trade does not focus on lowering the price of a good to benefit the consumer or on the material quality of the item. Fair Trade doesn’t discourage people from buying goods that are not Fair Trade products, but it encourages people to buy goods that support more ethical business. Normal trade doesn’t support ethical business practices like Fair Trade does.

Many different food items can be certified as Fair Trade. Chocolate is just one item that can be Fair Trade certified; coffee, tea, orange juice, honey, cane sugar, bananas, and flowers are all products that can be purchased as Fair Trade certified products.

Fair trade works to combat some of the major issues that the world faces today. Fair Trade works to combat child labor. After all on a global level, one in every seven children is working at a job that is hazardous to their safety, health, or that negatively impacts their studies.  Fair trade realizes that some of these children need to work to help their families earn money, so they have working children. Fair Trade working children are children that work at jobs that are not hazardous to their health or development. Their educations come before work, the children can attend school and work around when school is. Fair Trade also honors hard working women, and they even have a dedication to some of them. About 20% of all farmers are women, and out of all of Fair Trade’s farmers about 47% of them are women. Also one out of every four of their producers is a woman.  

 

The Fair Trade industry has a purpose that is beneficial in a few ways. They are trying to improve the living conditions for the poor people who live in developing countries. They do this by giving them the agreed upon Fair Trade price and a premium on top of it. The premium is usually used for things such as: healthcare, education, farm improvements, or processing facilities to help improve their income. They are also trying to change the way that international trade is done so it is done in a way that is more equitable to the people who are involved in the farming/small farming. They also keep their prices at an even level, even when the economy gets bad to help cover the costs of the sustainable food.

The Fair Trade system, with thousands of relationships in over 100 countries, is an incredibly diverse and large global movementto pay people such as the producers and the workers a fair price for goods consumed in countries such as; the United States, and Canada.

Fair Trade has many things that are prohibited from use in the Fair Trade product’s life, many general standards, and many countries that they cover. They provide a list of all of the Fair Trade standards. They also provide a list of all of the countries that the Fair Trade standards apply to. The red list is a list of things that producers can’t use on the product, and the amber list is a list of things that are being evaluated and could end up on the red list soon after being on the amber list.  If you want to be Fair Trade certified you can’t use anything that is on the red list in the handling of your products.

Fair Trade supports environmentally sustainable farming. These farms use many interesting techniques to lessen their impact on the environment. These farms minimize pesticides, herbicides, and pollutants with integrated farm management systems. They use techniques that are used in organic agriculture. They also made it so that most dangerous pesticides could not be used on the produce. Normal trade doesn’t have these strict environmentally friendly rules to follow.  

           

Fair Trade benefits the Fair Trade producers. The producers get a better deal. They get paid a greater amount for their Fair Trade product. This also secures their employment, which isn’t an immediate benefit, but it is a long-term benefit. They get long-term benefits of having direct contact with importers from the North. They gain access to beneficial market information.

The consumer benefitsfrom purchasing Fair Trade products. These products are considered to be high quality products. The products are in line with customer’s principals. They consumers also get to help in addressing global trade inequalities.

Fair-trade International wants to give the people power, which many had lost.Many people around the world suffer from hunger. About one billion people suffer from hunger in the world today, and many of these people are smaller farmers and workers located in the Global South. Fair-trade Internationals aims to reform global trade in a beneficial and positive way that unlocks the power of the disadvantages workers and producers. Out of all of the Fair-trade producers about 80% of all of them are small farmers also referred to as smallholders. Smallholders are the only Fair-trade producers of cotton, sugar, coffee and cocoa that Fair-trade International will work with. Fair-trade certified plantation and estates employ over 168,000 workers. They are trying to get to a point where all of the workers earn a livable wage. Located in 22 countries there are more than 1,110 Fair Trade Towns. They want to strengthen the economic markets, as well as the grass roots movement. Fair-trade International wants to strengthen their global Fair-trade system and to do this 47% of their budget goes to producer services. Some of the producer services that this money is going to are things such as: the producer certification fund, producer services and relations, liaison officers, and to information and training. 

So next time you are craving something sweet, and you decide to get some chocolate remember it is worth the extra money to purchase some Fair Trade chocolate. Anything you purchase that can be bought as Fair Trade it is worth the extra money to buy it, because the extra money you pay helps workers get out of poverty, helps getting them better educated, healthcare, and improved farming facilities.

Written by Sonya Chiarella, Activism Project Blog 03.09.2013