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What is Fairtrade and Why is it Important?

We all love our beauty treats, but knowing they come from producers who are treated fairly, makes them even more enjoyable.

We all love our beauty treats, but knowing they come from producers who are treated fairly, makes them even more enjoyable.

What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade ensures fair prices, living wages and community benefits for farmers, workers and their families in developing countries. Fairtrade works in partnership with farmers to empower them, and produce raw ingredients with fairer prices, betters terms of trading, as well as additional funds for business and community development. Education, health care and environmental sustainability all benefit from Fairtrade, and workers benefit from improved, humane working conditions.

What Are the Fairtrade Certifications?

There are a number of fairtrade certifications and these indicate that the product meets international fairtrade standards. These include social, economic and environmental criteria which are set by the certification body Fairtrade International. These standards are agreed through a process of research and consultation with key participants in the Fairtrade scheme, including producers themselves, traders, NGOs, academic institutions and labelling initiatives such as Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand. However, it is important to also know that not every fairtrade product carries the logo on their packaging. Many products are made using fairly traded ingredients, but choose not to pay to carry the a logo. When in doubt you can contact the manufacturer for confirmation.

What are the main Fairtrade industries?

Cocoa, tea, coffee, sugar, and cotton are well known and established Fairtrade industries. In the beauty industry, shea butter, coconut oil, Brazil nut oil, and argan oil are some of the ingredients which can be sourced by Fairtrade producers.

One of the industry leaders involved in Fairtrade is Dr Bronner's, who have committed to sourcing their major raw materials from certified Fairtrade and organic projects around the world since 2006. Dr Bronner's have created or partnered with various Fairtrade organic projects all over the world: in Sri Lanka for coconut oil, in Palestine and Israel for olive oil, in India for mint oil, in Kenya for avocado, tea tree and coconut oils, in Ecuador for sugar cane alcohol, and in Zambia for beeswax.

To read more about the Dr Bronner's range, I have blogged about them here: All About Dr Bronner's and here: What makes Dr Bronner's Magic Soaps magic

Sustainability and Fairtrade

Sustainability goes hand in hand with Fairtrade initiatives. In order for producers and communities to have economic longevity, their communities must be sustainable. Weleda has been a pioneer in sustainable harvesting by using biodynamic farming methods. Biodynamic farming methods aim for long term sustainability and improve soil fertility. Of course, there are no harmful chemicals applied to crops; only natural sprays to ensure they are abundant. Approximately 50% of Weleda's Fairtrade partners use biodynamic methods, and is working towards a target of 100%. Weleda Fairtrade ingredients include argan oil, arnica, almond, birch leaves, lavender, ratanhia, rose and sea buckthorn.

To read more about the Weleda range, I have blogged about them here: 90 Years of Weleda Skin Food and here: Finding the right Weleda skincare for you

Shop wisely

As a savvy shopper, you know as well as I do that it's extremely difficult to navigate ethically sourced ingredients and products. We've done the time intensive research for you. When you choose to shop with Nourished Life and our carefully selected brands, you'll have peace of mind knowing your health and lifestyle products are sourced ethically.

Image source: tamouse.org. Resources: Fairtrade Australia New Zealand, Dr Bronner's, Weleda.

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