Fair Trade is a market based approach designed to help producers and farmers in third world countries promote better trading conditions while at the same time encouraging sustainability. A more direct relationship with the producers through the elimination of "middle men" allows them to recognize a higher price for their goods and keeps renewable products affordable for consumers.
Instead of dependency on aid, Fair Trade empowers farmers to get a fair price for their harvest, helps workers create safe working conditions and provides a decent living wage. Through direct, equitable trade, farming and working families are able to eat better, keep their kids in school, improve health and housing and invest in the future. Some facts about current world trade conditions:
2.7 billion - estimated number of people in the world existing on less than $2 per day, according to the World Bank.
284,000 - the number of children in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon working in hazardous tasks on conventional cocoa farms, according to an International Institute of Tropical Agriculture study.
2 cents - the amount farmers on conventional farms receive from the average $3 latte, according to Transfair USA.
$70 billion - the amount African countries could generate if their share of world exports increased by 1% - approximately five times what the continent receives in aid - according to Oxfam International's Make Trade Fair Report.
$13 billion - total amount required to provide basic education and nutrition in all developing countries, according to the 2005 UNICEF State of the World's Children Report.
The Fair Trade Movement seeks to address these inequities with the power of the free marketplace. The American consumer, through their individual purchasing choices, has the ability to positively impact not only the environment but the lives of people living in poverty across the world. RUNKA.com searches for Fair Trade products and is proud to carry these items on our website. Over the next several days we will feature several Fair Trade products that can be found on RUNKA.com.