Fair Trade Made Simple: Pt. 1

The recent development in global economics termed “fair trade” is a highly complex and pertinent issue for consumers both domestic and abroad. From the logistical difficulties of ensuring that fair trade is actually fair to defining the borders of what this program entails, even understanding the basics of how fair trade works can seem a daunting task.

In an upcoming series of articles on the Mira Fair Trade website, I will begin to break down and explain this initiative. Fair trade will be split up in terms of the individual, corporate, national, and transnational structures which constitute the movement. As a way of giving you, the reader, concrete and meaningful information, everything I explain will be backed up by real-world numbers and supported with professional, academic sources. Fair trade will be looked at from many different angles, not just those pertinent to our company, in order to give you a fresh and applicable comprehension.

In the age of globalization, we are no longer limited by geographic or temporal restrictions. We have the capability of traveling to, or ordering from, almost any country in the world with the push of a button. Yet along with this increase in fiscal autonomy comes an increase in the responsibility we have when making a purchase. Buying a product is no longer something you can do with an acquaintance, but is an act of complete anonymity. It has become disjointed from the chain of production which brought that item to you in the first place. No one knows the name of who made their stove, car, or almost any item within their household. While this brings with it many opportunities for efficiency and innovation, it has come at the cost of morality and human dignity. Children in Africa now dig for the minerals which power our phones. Sweatshops in Thailand produce the t-shirts we put on our loved one’s backs. Workers all around the world live on pennies a day because our consumer markets have allowed that injustice to occur. This is where fair trade can change all of that.

Fair Trade is a living philosophy. It is a movement of modern principles within the sphere of commerce. The spirit of fair trade is one of empowerment and respect built upon an innate drive to help our fellow human beings. The drive to support other men and women is not something which needs to be taught to others. It is not something which requires a college degree to understand. What it requires is the simple realization that an individual has the ability to change a community, that a community can change a nation, and that a nation can change the world. Join us at the beginning of every month as we explore the realm of global fair trade and develop new insights into this uplifting phenomenon.