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The title of this post is disturbing. The concepts of Organic and Fair Trade are extremely important to building (rebuilding) a sustainable society. The bright side is that the certifications are not mutually exclusive and in fact complement each other nicely.
In our current market, third celebration certification is important to both reasonable and natural trade. As time goes on a search for reasonable trade coffee is more and more likely to turn up non-certified "reasonable trade" coffee, which is most likely just a marketing rouse to draw in ethical clients. With fair trade Transfair is presently the only certification agency, so look for the fair trade label.
The idea of growing organic is vital to the conservation of our environment. Herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers seep into the ground polluting our groundwater and it also runs off the fields and into regional water resources. When forest are cleared for the planting of fields much of the topsoil is eroded and transported in close-by streams to the nearest lake where it deposits the sediment, filling up the lake. Working with the environment to prevent this erosion, natural coffee farmers preserve the fertility of the land by growing coffee in the shade, where coffee was suggested to grow. This shade grown coffee supplies the migratory birds with habitat and is thus called bird friendly. The concept of natural surpasses protecting the environment and reaches protecting the people who work in the fields. A number of the chemicals utilized in farming have actually been shown to trigger cancer along with numerous other health issues. These concerns are increased when an individual is consistently exposed to the sprays, like the farmers. The number of lifelong farmers labored to supply our society with food and are now experiencing cancer (my grandpa is among them)? Some studies have actually shown that organic techniques even secure those who eat the fruits( even after they are washed), and likewise safeguard residents who consume the water.
When it comes to fair trade coffee certification, "reasonable" has an objective meaning through the certification requirements of Transfair. One of the requirements of reasonable trade certification it that a premium is paid for organic coffee, presently a full 15 cents more per pound than just routine fair trade. Lots of fair trade farmers have switched to organic techniques and are now actively restoring the rain forest in order to receive this premium.
Well there is plenty of coffee out there labeled as not fair however natural trade. Organic is excellent, but by itself it is not sustainable, we must guarantee that the individuals who grow it are appropriately compensated otherwise they are put in a financial position which lends itself to decisions with negative environmental consequences. Fair trade does not compete with organic however it does make sure it is fiscally sustainable for the manufacturers, therefore ensuring future supply in our present economy.
This is why the fair trade model works. First it ensures the financial security of the farmers through fair rates, access to non-predatory loans and capital required to market and sell their products. Then it ensures them a premium for eco-friendly practices, which lot of times causes conversion of traditional fields to natural. This model has actually been working for coffee and has actually now expanded to tea, chocolate and even some tropical fruits.
The outcomes of fair trade have been fantastic:
* Organic techniques are being used and taught
* Community infrastructure is being built/rebuilt
* Clean water
* Erosion control
* Children in school
* Quality products through quality techniques
* Adult education
* Secure families
* and sustainability
Next time you buy organic coffee or tea make sure it is also fair trade accredited by Transfair. When they are available, request that your regional grocer bring fair trade fruits.
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