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Fairtrade Vs Organic Certification

Posted on 26th Mar 2016 @ 3:36 PM

Fair Trade.
The idea of fair trade has a lot of appeal with the public, who understandably hate exploitation.
We at Blessed Earth were fully fledged members of the fair trade movement for over a year.
We got out because:

  • The costs are so high. When our manufacturing arm, Go Green textiles, tried to join recently the initial costs alone were in the order of $5000. This is money we would have to recover, ultimately, from you our customers.
  • The quarterly fees paid were many times the small premium paid to the farmers. We know this because we continued to pay the premiums to the farmers in Egypt, even after we left fair trade. Most of the money we paid went to the admin of fair trade.
  • In the case of the cotton industry, our organic growers are paid premium prices for their crop, far greater than the premium paid by fair trade.
  • Fair trade do not care if a crop is conventionally grown from GMO seed with chemicals, even though those chemicals are killing workers in the industry at all levels. It actually supports multinational corporations by condoning the use of their products.
  • Organic certification is chemical free. It looks after the cotton growers and workers – and the environment – and ensures a greater return for growers.

It may be that fair trade has a role to play protecting the rights of those making indigenous jewellery or other products.

We at Blessed Earth feel it has no meaningful role to play in the cotton industry.