What is Fair Trade? And Why Is It More Expensive?

If you’ve ever set foot inside any health food store, then you’re probably familiar with the term “Fair Trade”. Many higher-end products proudly display this badge on their packaging, but what exactly is Fair Trade? Does your mind just immediately assume higher prices? You’re not alone, but why is the price higher and why is it important?

Paying More or Paying Fairly?

Fair trade is both a market-based approach and a social movement committed to promoting safe, healthy working conditions, protecting the environment, enabling transparency, and empowering communities to build strong, thriving businesses. Fair trade is business with social responsibility.

What is Ensures

This socially responsible business practice ensures that suppliers of commodities, who are often in under-developed countries, receive fair pay and work in safe environments. It also restricts the use of pesticides and fertilizers and prohibits GMOs (genetically modified organisms), in order to protect farmers’ health and maintain the ecosystem. Another important guarantee when buying Fair Trade products  is that children have not been forced into slave labor to lower the price of goods.

Where the Money Goes

In addition to providing adequate wages to workers, funds from fair trade sales are also set aside to improve local communities via programs such as school development, environmental protection, women’s rights, leadership training, and quality of life improvements.

Before Fair Trade

Recently, fair trade has gained greater prominence in the US, specifically for commodities like chocolate, coffee and tea. But it hasn’t always been that way; there have been labor issues on cocoa farms for as long as we’ve been consuming chocolate. These issues include poor compensation for labor, dangerous working conditions, even slavery and child trafficking. On occasion, these issues have been brought to the public eye and large chocolate companies have been forced to respond. Unfortunately, when they respond, it’s often to protect their public image; not to address or correct the real issues.

Ask Yourself

So when you consider the products you’re purchasing, even down to your chocolate bar, perhaps it is important to ask yourself some questions:

  • Do I know that this product was sourced and produced ethically?
  • Is it worth a little more money to know that these products are being sourced and produced ethically?
  • Is saving a little bit of money worth the harm it may be causing to others?

At BrainMD, we asked ourselves these questions when sourcing ingredients for our Brain in Love and Brain on Joy chocolate bars. We are incredibly proud to say that we use Fair-Trade chocolate in our bars. It is not charity, it is fair. And the cherry on top- it tastes great and is healthy too!

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i don’t see any points where fair trade is intrinsically better for health than non-fair trade health foods….