Happy World Fair Trade Day!
As you sip your morning coffee or tea, how often do you think about the journey those beans or leaves took to get to you? Believe it or not, the global trade system often involves harsh working conditions, intense competition for retail space, and ambiguous compensation rates. To combat the exploitation of farmers and establish better, more transparent practices of conscious consumerism, the Fair Trade movement was established to create sustainable standards for production, trade, and consumption. Today, you can find thousands of Fair Trade-certified products in stores, all created with the purpose of a better global ecosystem.
What is Fair Trade?
The farmers and workers that dedicate their lives to producing the world’s favorite beverages and other products are among the most marginalized groups in global trade. It is easy to get lost in a massive system based in predominantly small, undeveloped areas. The Fair Trade movement, and its leading networks Fairtrade International and Fair Trade USA, work to establish designations and systems that give farmers a voice and protect their production and compensation.
Through Fair Trade, farmers are ensured safe working conditions, environmental protection, and sustainable livelihoods. This is achieved through a minimum price system that guarantees farmers a fair rate for their product when market prices drop, combatting child labor with minimum employment ages, and ensuring farmers are growing crops without harmful chemicals and waste. Since 1999, producers have earned a total financial benefit of $846 million through sales of Fair Trade Certified products, including over $550 million in Community Development Funds and $296 million as a result of the Fair Trade Minimum Price. Last year, Fair Trade USA® empowered almost one million farmers and workers in 62 countries to reach better terms with their trading partners. This system does not discriminate based on gender, race, or beliefs, it is one of standards and providing a voice to the drivers of global trade that need it most.
As a consumer, purchasing Fair Trade-certified products means farmers and businesses have met the strict social, economic, and environmental standards deployed by numerous global organizations.
Purchasing with Purpose
Aramark is proud to partner with Keurig Dr Pepper, an industry leader in the Fair Trade space with a commitment to supplying the highest quality product from the highest quality conditions. In 2021, Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) was the largest purchaser of Fair Trade coffee globally for the 11th consecutive year, after reaching its commitment to responsibly sourcing 100% of its coffees in 2020. KDP achieved this by purchasing coffee certified and verified to sustainable sourcing programs including Fair Trade USA.
Under the KDP umbrella are a number of exclusively Fair Trade household and workplace favorites including Bigelow English Breakfast Tea, Laughing Man Colombia Huila and Dukale’s Blend from famed actor Hugh Jackman, and a large assortment of the signature Green Mountain Coffee Roasters line including Single Origin Sumatran Reserve, Single Origin Colombia Select, and Organic House Blend to name a few.
All of this goes to say that Fair Trade has something for anyone that benefits everyone. This system has the ability to create global trade that provides the highest quality product to consumers while ensuring farmers can thrive off of their skill and passion. As we celebrate World Fair Trade Day on May 14, take time to learn more about the movement and look for the signature label the next time you are at the grocery store or wherever you source goods.