How much did you spend on your coffee this morning?
On average, coffee growers earn less than 2$ a day for their work.
Now that Macdonald Campus has officially been declared a Fair Trade Campus, we are moving in the direction of education and awareness for important global issues. As the home of students that study global food security, food science and nutrition, agriculture, bioresource engineering, environment and more, this progression is especially important for us. Many of the programs we study go hand in hand with the social, environmental, ethical and economic impact of the Fairtrade certification.
As we celebrate Fair Trade Campus Week this week, it is crucial as citizens of this planet for us all to be aware of fair trade and the many benefits it has for farmers abroad, the global economy, and the strengthening of human rights.
What does it mean for a product to be certified fairtrade?
How does fair trade help farmers?
Fairtrade supports the development of farmers and their communities.
It does so through the Fairtrade Minimum Price to ensure that farmers earn a proper wage from production and are protected from volatile market prices. It also does so through the Fairtrade Premium. The Fairtrade Premium is an extra sum of money given to farmers for them to invest into projects of their choosing to help their community. This can be an investment in schools, transport, health care, sanitation, or any project that the farmer deems is important for their community. The Fairtrade Premium gives farmers and worker communities more control over their futures. It gives them power to protect and develop the environment in which they live and work.
Fairtrade prohibits child labour and forced labour. It also ensures decent working conditions.
Fairtrade Standards are all about protecting farmer’s and workers’ human rights. When you buy a product labelled with the FAIRTRADE Mark, you can be assured that it was produced in safe conditions with zero exploitation. Fairtrade Canada also ensures that all employees have stable job security, work decent hours, and are aware of their rights, amongst many other important standards.
What can we do?
We can help by increasing the demand for fair trade products.
Fairtrade is not perfect. Sometimes, farmers will be certified Fairtrade and produce their whole crop Fairtrade, but only be able to sell a fraction of their total yield on ‘Fairtrade
terms’, while the rest is sold at conventional market prices on the stock exchange. This
is because the demand is too low for Fairtrade products.
By increasing the demand for Fairtrade products, we can help solve this problem. Essentially, when we choose Fairtrade products we are voting with our dollars for a more sustainable, equitable, and safe planet.
Where can I buy Fairtrade products in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and/or Montréal?
Remember, when you are searching for Fairtrade items, you are searching for the official FAIRTRADE Mark.
T.W.I.G.S. on campus officially serves exclusively Fairtrade coffee! (Did you know: McGill’s very own Roddick Roast is Fairtrade certified?)
ALL vending machines on campus have at least one Fairtrade chocolate option. Can you go spot some?
Macdonald Campus’s very own Buy-Your-Own-Bulk carries Fairtrade cane sugar, cocoa powder AND chocolate chips. Stock up on Wednesdays from 10am-2pm!
Most supermarkets carry Fairtrade tea! Look for the Four O’Clock brand and you will start to notice others…
To find brands and companies in your area, explore this interactive guide created by Fairtrade Canada: http://guide.fairtrade.ca/!
All in all, choosing Fairtrade certified products is your opportunity to connect with the people who make the products that we all depend on. The power is in YOUR hands to make a difference with every dollar you spend.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to DHNUS if you are interested in joining this movement, volunteering with us, or want to know how to get more involved.
We will see you all at our events this week! We hope that through celebrating Fair Trade Campus Week, we can start to have important conversations about fair trade. Come visit us to learn more and ask us any questions you may have.
It’s time to celebrate this step in the right direction and determine our next steps.
All the information above sourced directly from Fairtrade Canada at fairtrade.ca. Retrieved October 26, 2019.