The Fair Trade concept dates to the 1940s when a handful of North American and European organizations began to work with poor communities to help them sell their handicrafts to consumers in more prosperous markets.
Today, consumers around the globe aid those in developing countries by purchasing Fair Trade-labeled tea, cocoa, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, sugar, honey, wine, flowers, grains and rubber products. Their acts promote environmental sustainability and fight exploitation.
Fair Trade purchases identify farmers and other workers who are justly compensated for their products and work. In the United States and other thriving parts of the world, money shoppers spend on day-to-day goods give a boost to entire communities’ day-to-day lives.
Among the environmental practices encouraged by Fair Trade: protecting water resources and natural vegetation areas; promoting agricultural diversification, with erosion control and no slash and burn; restricted use of pesticides.