Fairtrade & the environment

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Fairtrade Fortnight has arrived and it’s a great time to focus on just why we choose to support the Fairtrade. Does it really make that much of a difference? We would say a resounding YES! Fairtrade is famous for raising standards for communities, but how does it help the environment?

While Fairtrade certified products don’t necessarily have to be organic, certain environmental practices are strongly encouraged to develop sustainable farming techniques. In a nutshell, this basically means ensuring surrounding areas are looked after, soil is clean, water isn’t wasted and chemicals are kept to a minimum.

Fairtrade International recommends that farmers…

  • Protect the surrounding environment, including waterways, virgin forest and others, preventing erosion and dealing with waste in an environmentally friendly way.
  • Develop a balance between protecting the environment and achieving good business results in farming practices
  • Handle chemicals with care following international standards.
  • Restrict the use of chemicals including Genetically Modified products.
  • Monitor how their practices are impacting their environment

Sustainable farms

It’s all well and good to have these standards but how does a humble farmer know exactly how to do this? Well, Fairtrade has it covered. They provide information, education on how to keep soil, water and plants healthy long-term. This knowledge soon becomes a part of their farming practices that can then be handed down from generation to generation, ensuring future success of farms and communities.

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But it’s not just about the land, when you’re using chemicals every day, you’d better understand how they can effect your health. Safe handling techniques protect workers from serious illnesses that could otherwise spell disaster for a family or even a community. At the end of the day, Fairtrade strongly encourages farmers to minimise the use of certain chemicals, teaching them how to use more environmentally friendly techniques to keep pests and disease away from their crops.

Celebrate with us!

SInce it’s Fairtrade Fortnight perhaps it’s time to reassess how you shop, what you buy and what impact it’s having on the world. Does it matter? We think so (read our post on Fairtrade here). Let’s face it, this world is not equally weighted, so Fairtrade is one way we can make things even. But it’s not just about money, opportunities etc, it’s about looking after our environment so there will be farms and coffee and a real future for all of us. It’s a great movement, one that you can know for sure is doing a lot for the world as a whole!

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How ‘Fairtrade’ is your pantry?

 

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