Fair Trade... What is it?

What is Fairtrade?  and how is it different than Fair Trade?


Fair Trade (also known as "fair trade" or "fairly traded") refers to the broader concept of fairness and decency in the marketplace, whereas "Fairtrade" refers to the specific Fair Trade certification system run by Fairtrade International (FLO) and its members, including Fairtrade Canada.


When speaking generally about the concept, it's best to use "Fair Trade". When speaking specifically about the FLO system, use "Fairtrade" ("Fairtrade certified products", "Fairtrade certification standards", etc).


What about Creations from Eden's products?  Are they Fair Trade or Fairtrade?


Creations from Eden products are Fair Trade, they are not Fairtrade certified.  In order for me to sell you Fairtrade certified products, I need to be certified myself.


How do you know your products are Fair Trade when they are not certified?


I personally do not put a lot of faith into the Fairtrade program as I have done some digging and it's not 100% what people think it is (that is up to you to research to find out what your feelings are on it). The following products we get from one source: Black Cocoa Butter, Raw Gold Shea, Natural Shea, Cocoa Butter PPP , Coconut oil, Premium Palm, Grapeseed oil, Apricot Kernel oil, Avocado oils (both), Fractionated Coconut oil, Virgin Oil de Coco Creme and I think I am missing a few. 


This source, after being Fairtrade certified and being both traders and suppliers (this is rare, usually they are two different companies) and watching the Fairtrade chain and how it really does work, decided to no longer be part of the program and started their own in-house program that ensures the whole chain gets their fair pay. So... yes our butters and oils are Fair Trade, but no they are not Fairtrade... make sense? I personally prefer to know exactly where my butters are coming from from start to finish, rather than seeing a Fair Trade logo on the product, but not being 100% sure of where it came from... might just be me, but that is where I stand on it.


In terms of the other products we carry from different suppliers (ie. Refined Cocoa Butter, Refined Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, etc) these manufacturers are very large and uphold standards that include contributing to sustainable, renewable and ethical agriculture.  I have contacted these companies to get their feelings on this subject and they have indicated that they fit within Creations from Eden's realm of what we believe in as ethical practices. 


How do I find out more about Fairtrade and your reference above about it not being what people think?


Pretend you are wanting to get Shea Butter by the Carton (yes we're talking LARGE quantity) from Africa. How do you get it? Who do you need to source the product, who makes the product, how do you get it to Canada? How many individuals and companies are involved? Make a flow chart showing each person involved. Then read the Fairtrade documentation and apply it to the flow chart. See if it matches up.


And Finally...


I am not saying Fairtrade is a bad thing, it's better than not knowing at all, but there are better ways to do business in a more ethical manner, in my opinion, and Creations from Eden Inc practices these methods when sourcing our product.

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