By Marcela Owen
What is Fair Trade?
The Fair Trade Certified™ label ensures consumers that the farmers and workers behind the product got a better deal. It is more than a certification stamp and more than a seal of approval. It reassures consumers that their purchases are socially and environmentally responsible. It is the end result of a rigorous global inspection and monitoring systems.
The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is the trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to Fair Trade. The Fair Trade Federation is the trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade. The Federation is part of the global fair trade movement, building equitable and sustainable trading partnerships and creating opportunities to alleviate poverty.
The Federation envisions a just and sustainable global economic system in which purchasing and production choices are made with concern for the well-being of people and the environment, creating a world where all people have viable economic options to meet their own needs. They seek to alleviate poverty by continually and significantly expanding the practice of trade that values the labor and dignity of all people. For more information visit: www.fairtradeusa.org and www.fairtradefederation.org
My personal thoughts on Fair Trade
I’m a great supporter of fair trade practices for several reasons. First of all, my philanthropic personality automatically makes me care for people all over the world, especially people in other countries who may be in a difficult economic situation. I innevitably want to help. So if a product is labeled Fair Trade, I will honor and purchase it over others that don’t carry the label. Secondly, I’m saddened at the poverty that other countries experience, I love the idea of helping people in other countries receive fair compensation and fair treatment for their work and product. And thirdly, I feel it’s very important to promote and to support small businesses and entrepreneurs, even if I have to pay a little more. Small business and entrepreneurs typically pour their passion and devotion to all they do, and I love being part of that type of community.
What is Certified Humane?
The Certified Humane Raised and Handled® program is a certification and labeling program that is the only animal welfare label requiring the humane treatment of farm animals from birth through slaughter. The goal of the program is to improve the lives of farm animals by driving consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices. When you see the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label on a product you can be assured that the food products have come from facilities that meet precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment. For more information visit: www.certifiedhumane.org
My personal thoughts on Certified Humane
If you are vegetarian, you can go ahead and skip this section. If you eat any type of meat frequently or from time to time, then this section may be of interest. If I eat meat, I prefer organic meat. On top of that certification, I look for the Certified Humane label. If I can contribute to the better handling of animals, humane treatment and better overall conditions, I definitely want to contribute. Compassion applies to all aspects of my life, including farm animals of any kind.
What are FSC and Rainforest Alliance?
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.
Established in 1993 as a response to concerns over global deforestation, FSC is a pioneer forum where the global consensus on responsible forest management convenes and through democratic process effects solutions to the pressures facing the world’s forests and forest-dependent communities.
Within this forum, voices from the Global North and South, from organizations big and small, assemble to define environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management and identify the tools and resources that will effect positive, lasting change. For more information visit: www.fsc.org
Many businesses claim their products are sustainable, but how do consumers really know? Increasingly, they are demanding an independent, third-party seal of approval. Distinguish your goods and services through the Rainforest Alliance’s family of marks.
Farms, forestry operations and other businesses that meet the appropriate certification and verification standards earn access to the Rainforest Alliance family of marks for on- and off-product promotions.
Whether you’re looking to green your home, your office, your school or your travels, the Rainforest Alliance can help. By choosing certified and verified products and services, for personal or business use, you are helping to transform our global marketplace into a more sustainable model; one that promotes better lands, lives and livelihoods. The green frog seal of approval is recognized around the world as the symbol of sustainability. For more information visit www.rainforest-alliance.org
Please remember to recycle and to buy recycled products when possible. Look for the “recycle” sign below. For recycling programs in your community visit: www.recycle.org
My personal thoughts on FSC, Rainforest Alliance and Recycling
Forest Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance are great advocates of our forests and our trees. I have great respect for nature and for these organizations that protect it. When I see these certifications on the products I buy, I know that I’m buying from a source that cares about our environment and our forests. I also know that the ecosystem around these environments are protected as well as respected. I feel it’s just as crucial to bring awareness to our shopping habits by selecting products with these certifications, as well as recycle all we can and buy recycled products when possible.