Reasons to choose Fairtrade on your next grocery shop

Anthropologist and UN ambassador Jane Goodall once said, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”

But how can you realistically change the world every day? After all, work has to be done, kids need to be fed and looked after, and you need your eight hours of sleep.

Did you know that by simply going grocery shopping you can help change the world and the lives of many people? Buying Fairtrade-certified products, ranging from fruit and wine to coffee and clothing, reduces poverty, encourages environmentally friendly production methods, and safeguards humane working conditions.

Image: Fairtrade International

How? Fairtrade-certified products are sold at an extra premium. The money from these extra premiums goes straight back to the community that works and lives on the farm that produced that product (not to the farmer), where it is used for community projects such as the building of schools, community centres or playgrounds.

In order for a product to become Fairtrade certified, farms producing those products need to adhere to certain standards. These include proper living conditions for workers, with access to running water and flushing toilets; the implementation of work safety measures, such as suitable protection when working with pesticides or operating heavy machinery; and enabling the farming community to run and manage workers’ forums.

Image: Fairtrade America

The farm itself should also participate in projects, whether this involves setting up a school, crèche or even a sports team.

For the past two years, Fairhills Wines has been managing a cooperative in the Breedekloof Valley with Origin Wine and BC Wines, which has seen the construction of the Lemoenpoort Workers’ Association crèche, Haasbekkie Dagsorg.

Today the crèche benefits 31 children from the age of three months to five years, including the provision of two meals a day, regulated playtime, nap time, and activities incorporating occupational therapy. With these early learning blocks in place, the children have a brighter future, with more opportunities on the farm, as well as for tertiary education.

So the next time you go grocery shopping, remember Jane Goodall’s words, and look out for the Fairtrade logo to make a real difference.

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Image: Fairhills Wines