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Essentially, the term Fair Trade refers to the following business model: companies pay craftsmen and farmers in developing countries an increased wage for goods that are traditionally produced in that region. These goods are produced with an eye to minimal environmental impact. Examples of Fair Trade goods are: bananas, honey, cotton, wine, handcrafts, coffee, sugar, and tea. As of 2008, the annual amount of revenue generated by Fair Trade goods amounted to approximately US$4.08 billion worldwide.
While the popularity of Fair Trade goods is almost certainly a byproduct of good intentions on the part of consumers, is there a downside to the Fair Trade industry?
I got the message that it’s my job to make a difference in the world, no matter what I happen to wear.
Now, I confess—As an entrepreneur motivated more by creating social and environmental change than by making a monetary fortune, I am exactly who this ad is directed at. And I was fascinated. I took the rare step of typing in the link that was displayed on the video to find out more
“I’ve been beating myself up for not challenging your racism when you expressed it. So today, I’m going to stop beating myself up and tell you that I didn’t appreciate your put downs of those who look different from you, and I’ll not have you cut my hair again.” Then stand still and listen for dialogue. It may be quite vitriolic, but you may be able to go deeper. And you owe him that much.
You do this, not for his soul, but for yours. But there may be a side benefit of reaching his, too (maybe not right away).
Most of our trip around Costa Rica has involved protected wilderness areas, and we’ve seen what bananas look like in nature; they grow a few here and there amidst the astounding biodiversity of the rainforest. Thousands of trees in orderly rows would not be found in nature.
A nearby organic farmer told us that this kind of monoculture requires enormous amounts of pesticides and herbicides. Not so good for the planet in this country that prides itself on its eco-consciousness.
Name: Shel Horowitz
Location: Hadley, Massachusetts, United States
A blog about business ethics from Shel Horowitz, expert on Green principles and business ethics as success drivers. This blog covers the intersections of ethics, politics, media, marketing, and sustainability.
About Shel: Copywriter, marketing and publishing consultant, speaker, and award-winning author of seven books. The three most recent are Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, and Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy world.
Shel specializes in affordable, ethical, and effective marketing for authors, publishers, small businesses, nonprofits, and community groups.
He's currently engaged in a campaign to get 25,000 people to sign--and spread--the Business Ethics Pledge: www.business-ethics-pledge.org
Publishing: Technical Aspects