Category: Fair Trade Thoughts


I did the following guest blog post for the Fair Trade Futures conference – the largest fair trade event in North America. Find out more about them here.

What is the goal for fair trade?

My thoughts: Fair trade wants to make ethical consumption an everyday, every-purchase occurrence. I relish the day when fair trade is no longer needed.

Through good news, bad news, or a friend – you have heard about fair trade, right? That is what gave you the passion to support it. So that is how we get more people to support it. We have to tell them about it, and talk to them about it.

Social networks play a huge role in this goal, because they connect the people in the movement. Remember, people are vital; fair trade needs the support of everyone for it to work.

How can you use Facebook and Twitter?
  1. Talk about fair trade with your friends on Facebook – send them links to your favorite articles, videos and stories.
  2. Educate yourself about fair trade – read blogs, articles, watch videos and talk to people.
  3. Buy fair trade, when you go shopping, when you are online.

Tell your friends, tell your family, tell a stranger – the more the merrier. Use your social networks.

By doing so you can make a difference to the billions of people in poverty.

About the author: Justin is co-founder and CEO of Vital Link Group, a company giving you the power to support fair trade on your social networks. To find out more about Vital Link, follow @vitallinkgroup and @justinvitallink or become a fan on Facebook.

Had an interesting conversation the other day with a cafe owner I am good friends with. I want to know what you think about his comments, so please comment below 🙂

I asked whether he was fair trade. To which he responded “No.” So I asked him whether he would convert to fair trade. He answered with something along these lines:

“I already provide coffee that pays the producers a wage higher than market value, they are essentially fair trade. However, the coffee I supply is premium quality. The label of fair trade is not often associated with premium quality beans. I have thus chosen to steer away from fair trade labelling. However, the producers are payed a fair price, and thus the coffee is essentially fair trade.”

I thought this raised a very good point. Fair Trade does have a perception of lower quality, which is strange, considering we are paying the producers more, and often this is a great motivation to do their jobs better and work harder. The perception may be incorrect, but it is there.

What is your perception of fair trade, the label? And what are your thoughts about cafe owners with this view on fair trade coffee?

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