7. The gift of Fair Trade does not stop at the farmer or artisan, it also participates in supporting the local community. By working through cooperatives, Fair Trade artisans and small farmers can invest part of their premiums in their own communities by working on improving housing, healthcare, and schools.
8. Fair Trade is also a mark of stable business relationships between the producers and the buyers. These partnerships enable buyers to purchase quality products from people they trust, and offer a sustainable and reliable way for farmers, artisans and their families to improve their businesses. An important reason to shop fair trade is that your purchase supports the livelihood of talented artisans and unlike the “regular” trade where artisans are paid 30 days after delivering the products, Fair Trade artisans are paid fairly and on time.
9. Fair Trade connects you with other cultures. Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Farmers and artisans are involved in the entire process, and Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from. When you buy fair trade products you know that another human being put hard work and concentration into the product you are wearing, using or eating rather than just a machine or some vague corporate entity. A real person spent lots of time growing or crafting that product with care and this should be celebrated!
10. Fair Trade means sustainable local economies. Fair Trade gives farmers and artisans control of their own future. They can build their own businesses as they wish, rather than working for a middle man, and the profits stay in their communities and go back into their businesses. Because Fair Trade is not just about the producers, they are empowered to give back and become leaders in their communities.
11. Fair Trade means that what you buy matters. By choosing Fair Trade products, you are not only accessing high quality products, you are making a difference in the lives of the people who grow the food you eat and the goods you use and buy. Every time you purchase a fair trade product, you tell the world that you want people to be treated with fairness and equality. The more people buy fair trade products, the more awareness grows and demand increases. When we mean that it matters, it also matters on a more personal basis. When you shop fair trade, the simple act of buying something almost creates a 1 to 1 relationship with the person that made the bracelet you now own and have in your hand. Fair trade creates meaning and purpose and subtle activism.
12. Fair Trade is NOT Aid. Fair trade is a way for us to help reduce poverty every time we shop without doing anything but what we usually do. By trading with people in many of the poorest countries of the world, fair trade reduces reliance on charity and fosters long-term development and independence. It creates opportunity for people to help themselves.
13. Spread the Love. One of the best ways to enjoy fair trade products is to give them as gifts… christmas… hint hint… Finding gifts that mean something isn’t always the easiest thing to do but because Fair Trade products are so unique, you are sure to present something that is… well… unique. It shows thoughtfulness on your part. Plus, Fair Trade products almost always have a story behind it, whether directly from the artisan or from the company that sells them and I am sure the recipient will be grateful and interested to know about it. Buying a fair-trade products goes way beyond supporting just one artisan.