3 Ways to Support Farmworkers During Fairtrade Fortnight

Imagine how hard it would be to go to work if you knew it†wouldn’t even earn†you a livable wage. For a lot of people around the world, that’s the†reality. It doesn’t matter if you’re a farmworker or an office joe, we all deserve to be fairly†compensated for our efforts.

What is Fairtrade?

The term “Fairtrade” gets bandied about a lot, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what it means. The Fairtrade Foundation†does a great job of summing it up in layman’s terms.

“Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world,”†The Fairtrade Foundation website explains. “By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.”

It’s easy to ignore these issues when†they’re so far removed from our everyday lives. But the thing is, we have the power to create positive change. That power is in your pocket. Where you spend your money matters.

Fairtrade Initiatives

Fairtrade Fortnight

Photo Credit: Fairtrade.org.uk

Right now, it’s Fairtrade Fortnight (25 Feb – 10 Mar) in the U.K. In October, America celebrates Fairtrade Month.†Keep a lookout for these types of initiatives and see how you can get involved.

It could be as simple as helping them spread the word†by sharing it on social media and telling friends and family. There are excellent Fairtrade resources available to help you support their efforts.

Whether you’re looking for an ethically-sourced cup of coffee†or a lesson plan for students, you’ll find it online. They also list upcoming events you can take part in, such as Fairtrade Friday.

How to Support Farmworkers

It’s easier than you might think†to make a difference. These are just some of the ways you can show farmers and workers some love during Fairtrade Fortnight.

1. Choose Organic

Shifting†from chemical to organic farming is not easy. Recognizing that it’s the better route, more and more farmers are forging ahead, despite†the challenges. We need to support them in their efforts†because ultimately, it’s in all our best interests to do so.

According to Dr. Zach Bush, “Monsanto’s own research revealed that when the market for organic food reaches 16% of market share, big farming will no longer be profitable.” To put that†in perspective, we’re currently sitting at around four to five percent.

Researchers in California proved that it’s never too late to go organic. According to their findings, six days of eating all organic is enough to significantly reduce levels of harmful pesticides in your body.

2.†Look for the Fairtrade Logo

If you’re a coffee addict, you can choose to support only those establishments that serve Fairtrade. The ones that do will usually have a sign saying as much.

Be mindful of where you buy your clothes. Support ethical and sustainable fashion brands and avoid fast fashion outlets. Watch the documentary†The True Cost to find out why.

Commercial candy is easy on your pocket, but that’s all. Bean to Bar chocolate makers ensure a sweet deal for everyone, not just the person eating their product.

If you’re not sure about an item,†look for the Fairtrade Logo. It’s the best way to ensure you’re buying something that’s been ethically- and sustainably-sourced.

3. Educate†Yourself & Others


There are plenty of ways to support Fairtrade, but educating yourself and the people around you is probably the best place to start.

Rarely, if ever, do we stop to think about the people who make our clothes, grow the beans that became our coffee or tend the crops that end up on our plate. When we need something, we go to the store and buy it. As citydwellers, that’s not going to change. But what can change is how we consume.

It starts with informing ourselves. The more we know about where our purchases come from, the better equipped we are to vote wisely with our dollars.

Remember, everyday†can be Fairtrade day. Don’t just think about when a post highlighting the topic†pitches up in your newsfeed.

Take Action

Want to go further? Sign and share the Care2 petition demanding that chocolate companies stop using child labor to grow and harvest their products.

If†you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. Youíll find Care2ís vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

25 comments

heather g
heather g8 days ago

My biggest concern is the health impacts of all the chemicals used on farms and how farm workers suffer the consequences.

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Chad A
Chad Anderson12 days ago

Thank you.

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Anna R
Anna R15 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Frances G
Frances G16 days ago

thanks for the article

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Melanie S

Thank you for sharing

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R19 days ago

Thanks for posting.

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Christine D
Christine D19 days ago

My local organic store supports fair trade as much as possible and I am more than happy to support the cause by purchasing those products.

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Lorraine Andersen

I will always try and look for the fair trade logo as well as the universal girlfriend label if possible.

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn19 days ago

Many thanks to you !

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RK R
RK R19 days ago

Fair Trade products are made in safe and healthy working conditions. Farmers and producers receive a fair price and have a voice in how their workplace is run. Fair Trade is better for the environment. Fair Trade supports sustainable practices that minimize its environmental footprint.

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