May 10th, 2014 has been designated World Fair Trade Day. The spirit of fair trade is to ensure workers are treated well and paid a fair price for their labour. Accusations of forced child labour and unsafe working conditions against well-known brands has tainted the idea of the global business village.
Here are some tips for supporting fair trade on your travels:
- For those must-have souvenirs, buy directly from the craftspeople. A middle person can often profit at the creator’s expense.
- Avoid buying any items made from endangered species, either plant or animal. A demand for certain products can cause the supply chain to become corrupt.
- Support business that promote sustainable practices. This can include accommodation, restaurants and craft shops.
- Seek out cooperatives and other organizations that directly employ and support their workers. A textile from a women’s cooperative or a household item produced at a charitable organization that benefits children make for unique and socially conscious souvenirs.
- If booking tours, check to see if the tour company supports the locals in the destinations where they operate. (Example, Planeterra through G Adventures, formerly known as Gap).
Check out the link below to see events happening near you:
WFTO – World Fair Trade Organization