SPONSORED BY DR. BRONNER’S
Interested in applying to PGC Finals? The application process will begin on Day 26, so be sure to log in and read the Day 26 challenge!
“Fair Trade isn’t just about coffee and cacao, it’s about everything.”
– David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer at Dr. Bronner’s
You hear a lot about the importance of voting with your dollar, but how much does each purchase actually matter? A lot! Every purchase has the potential to help create a more socially, economically, and environmentally just planet. That’s why certifications like Fair Trade are so important, giving consumers an easier way to create an equitable society. But what does Fair Trade actually mean? It’s more than just fair payments for farmers; it’s a revolutionary economic system that cares about consumers, workers, and the planet.
At the store, products are just there, with little hint of origin or resources used to create what sits on the shelf. Have you ever stopped to think about how that product was made, who made it, and under what conditions? If all of those stories were presented alongside the product, you would better understand the impact a single product can have. The mission of today’s partner, Fair World Project, is to educate and advocate for a just global economy where people are treated fairly and with dignity, the environment is respected and nourished, and commerce fosters sustainable livelihoods and communities in a global society based on cooperation and solidarity.
Whenever you purchase a product, you are directly supporting the labor practices used to make it. Behind many conventionally made products are harsh conditions and exploited workers. This is one reason why a serious shift in demand for ethical products is vital for a just future, and why fair trade certifications are so important. As Fair Trade Campaigns explains,“When you choose to purchase Fair Trade products, you are endorsing an economic system that provides opportunities for international farmers, artisans, and workers to lift themselves out of poverty.”
Rather than looking at production as a piecemeal operation, Fair Trade looks at trade holistically and asks how a product can be made and sold to benefit everyone. At its core, Fair Trade supports workers’ rights, economic and community development, and environmentally-friendly production methods.
In addition to minimum prices and premiums to support development projects, there is also an environmental aspect to fair trade. To be certified Fair Trade, farmers have to improve soil and water quality, avoid harmful chemicals, manage waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect biodiversity. Fair Trade focuses on working in harmony with nature to create a system that benefits people and planet.
Because you often can’t meet the people who made your product, third-party certification and Fair Trade membership labels ensure your purchases match your values. Labels such as Fair for Life, Fairtrade America,Fair Trade USA, World Fair Trade Organization, and Fair Trade Federation verify that a product was made following certain standards. While the specifics vary from label to label, all include fair and transparent prices for farmers, livable wages for workers, and premiums to support sustainable production and community development.
Some companies follow these standards for just a few products, while others embody these principles across all products and business practices. The latter may be part of membership organizations like the Fair Trade Federation or the World Fair Trade Organization. Companies like today’s partner, Dr. Bronner’s, have made these commitments, supporting the organizing efforts of smallholder farmers around the world and working to build fair supply chains.
Together, we can grow the Fair Trade market will grow and spread sustainable practices to support people and planet.
The goods you use, the food you eat, and the clothing you wear are often (almost always, in fact!) grown, produced, packaged, and transported by people you’ve never met in places you’ve never been. You may have a great relationship with the barista at your favorite coffee shop, but what about the farmers who grew and harvested the coffee beans? We rarely stop to consider who purchases are actually supporting. Is it smallholder farmers and craftspeople or multinational corporations?
To learn about the difference between Free Trade and Fair Trade, watch this video here.
Upload a PDF with your responses. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.
Behind every product is the story of a real person, whose life is directly tied to the practices that you chose to support with your purchases. Here’s a chance for you to get connected with the people who grow and produce your products. This challenge will inform you about fair trade practices that promote equality and justice globally.
Take some time to learn about fair trade with the following resources:
Now that you have learned more about the impact fair trade has on the lives of individuals, create something that connects all aspects of fair trade. Get creative!
Upload a PDF Document with your responses and screen shot of your post. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.
Greenest due on October 24 @ 6am PT.
Up to 50 bonus points will be awarded for outstanding work.
When you buy products on your campus, have you ever considered if they are Fair Trade certified? Schools can be a powerful supporter of the Fair Trade movement.
Head to a store, coffee shop, or restaurant on your campus and see how many fair trade products can you spot. List 5 items that are commonly sold on your campus that are notFair Trade certified, but could be. For some ideas, check out this list of companies and the products they sell that are fair trade.
Take it a step further! Pick one product you identified and see if you can make it happen. Consider talking to a local coffee shop about offering fair trade coffee or contacting dining services about fair trade produce. Send an email or try talking to a manager in person. Research some options for fair trade alternatives and express why you are interested in and support fair trade products, based on what you have learned. Document the process with screenshots or photos. How did they respond? Is it feasible?
Upload a PDF Document with your responses. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.
5 submissions will be randomly selected to receive:
Rose Castile Bar Soap, Hand Sanitizing Spray, Lip Balm, ChicoBag
Pascha Chocolate Vegan Chocolate Bar
Good Paper Peaceful Tree Thank You Card
Equal Exchange Baking Cocoa
Numi Organic Tea Golden Chai
Each time you submit a challenge, you get an entry. Complete Green, Greener, and Greenest to triple your chances!
Extended deadlines and extra credits do not apply.