What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. It focuses on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably Handicrafts, Coffee, Tea, Sugar, Chocolate, Bananas and many others. Fair trade’s aim is to work with small scale & independent producers and workers in order to help them move towards economic self-sufficiency and stability. Fair Trade focuses on international trade, for information on domestic farmworkers rights, read Why Fair USA?
We are proud to be supporters of the local Fair Trade for a Greater Orlando Coalition (FTGOC) and have hosted World Fair Trade Day for several years in May (above photo album is from WFTD 2009).
We like to say, if you can’t get it locally from here, get it local from somewhere else. Coffee is not grown domestically, so we make sure that we purchase Fair Trade beans from small producers who are paid a fair wage (via a local roaster). All of our chocolates & sugars are fair trade. Sometimes there are trade-off’s, though. When it comes to sugar, we choose a Fair Trade imported product over a Florida-grown product since we cannot support the companies that have devasted our Everglades and have questionable social standards for the field workers.
Of course, our biggest impact with Fair Trade products is in our Tea procurement. While our herbals are all domestically sourced, every tea from the plant camilla sinensis & rooibos comes from a growing region in Asia or Africa respectively. A majority of our teas are Fair Trade certified, others are directly traded between our domestic tea sourcing agent and small family farms they have personally visited. Our goal is to have all of our teas fall under one of these two categories.