Tuesday, March 7, 2017

#FairHer - Recognizing the Women of Fair Trade

Last year at this time, Fair Trade USA announced a #fairher campaign.  The focus of this campaign was and is to recognize women who participate in the success and sustenance of fair trade. It could be you. Do you purchase fair trade cocoa or support a local shop that sells fair trade handicrafts? If you do, you make a difference. Every little choice makes a difference in lives. These small positive choices would make you a 'Fair Her'!
There are many layers to 'Fair Her' and fair trade.  The campaign hopes to empower women and spring women (and men) into action to help raise the standard of living of women around the world. Did you know that 25% of the global population are rural women?  These women also make up a majority of the agricultural labor force and estimates by the UN suggest they produce 60-80% of the world's food. Unfortunately in most cases these women do not earn living wages and receive unequal treatment as compared to their male counterparts. By purchasing fair trade edibles, you can make a difference in the lives of some of these rural women. Women who work in fair trade certified farms earn fair and equal pay, have access to education and health services and often are protected from sexual harassment. My experience and observations have been the same when it comes to handicrafts. I know first-hand that not all artisans are treated equally in the community where I work in Guatemala. There are poor women working for less than $1.00/day creating bead-work for importers who buy and sell at the cheapest prices they can. I'm intimately familiar with businesses that operate with these traditional supply-demand economics.  Unfortunately I also see how this only benefits those at the top of the food chain and how the artisans suffer so deeply. They can't feed their families or educate their children. Fair traders live by the 'golden rule.' When artisans are treated with respect and paid living wages our world is a much better place. Looking for fair trade resources? I suggest you visit the Fair Trade Federation website. There you can find wholesalers and retailers that have been screened for their business practices. 'Fair Her' celebrates and recognizes everyone who makes choices to better our world. It celebrates me - a woman who operates a fair trade wholesale business and retail website.  It celebrates retailers who choose to sell fair trade food and gifts. It celebrates consumers who choose to buy fair trade items. Are you a 'Fair Her'? - ND