World Fair Trade Day is May 14

This Saturday (May 14th) thousands of people around the planet will be celebrating World Fair Trade Day. Never heard of it? That’s ok, you can still celebrate—and for good reason.

The World Fair Trade Day initiative comes via the World Fair Trade Organization, which unites citizens, Fair Trade organizations, environmental movements, producers and consumers around the planet. But what exactly is Fair Trade?

Quite simply, Fair Trade enables producers in any country—and often times small farmers artisans—to improve their lives and communities through sustainable wages and compensation that are often more than double the market average.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine our bananas being plucked off of trees, or coffee picked from shrubs bean by bean, but this is how we get some of the most popular foods in America. Other common items include chocolate, tea, coconut oil and even grains such as whole grains.

Brands that focus on Fair Trade products understand the risk in selling items that may cost consumers a bit more than the competitor, but think about it. If you were paid double to do your job, wouldn’t you work harder, smarter and with more pride?

When you buy a Fair Trade certified product, not only are you supporting the farmers, pickers, growers and crafters directly, but you’re also voting for a market that honestly reflects the value of products.

Want to support some great Fair Trade brands? Check out these faves:

Traditional Medicinals: Not only do they formulate the very best medicinal teas, but they know the value of Fair Trade.

Green Mountain Coffee: This company has been around for a long time and offers great tasting beans with a conscience. Every pound of coffee sold earns farmers $1.35 for conventionally grown; $1.55 for organic. These prices exceed the cost of production, increasing resources for health care and education and helping farming communities feed their families.

Theo Chocolate: A delicious award-winning chocolate that also sources feel-good Fair Trade cacao beans? Yes, please!

Dr. Bronners: Fair Trade isn’t limited to food. Just ask the Bronner family—luxurious organic soap makers for 5 generations. They pay fair wages, work directly with farm communities and extend the Fair Trade philosophy to their own employees as well. As if you need another reason for a bubbly soak in the tub…..

And keep your eyes out for Fair Trade jewelry, accessories and other crafts, too.

Check out World Fair Trade Day’s website for more info on how to celebrate this year.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Photo: CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture