Fairtrade Fortnight 2013

Monday marked the beginning of this years Fairtrade Fortnight (25th February – 10th March), an annual event held by the Fairtrade Foundation. In last years post I discussed the role of the Foundation and how they help farmers and producers globally – this year, for me its all about fairly traded beauty.

The FAIRTRADE mark (main image) is becoming a familiar sight and initially coffee, bananas and chocolate may spring to mind, however did you know that there is an ever increasing number of fairly traded beauty products on the market and proudly display the FAIRTRADE mark? This includes some big names including M&S and Boots as well as some natural and organic favourite such as Essential Care, Neals Yard Remedies and Lush.
When you see a product that displays the mark you can be certain that it has been produced using ingredients sourced from farmers who receive a fair price for their produce. In addition to the amount paid for the ingredient (in line with rates set by the Fairtrade Foundation), Farmers also receive a Fairtrade Premium to invest in their communities and businesses.
For a product to display the FAIRTRADE mark all of the ingredients that could possibly be fairtrade must be sourced from certified producers. Beauty products are on the whole water-based and contain relatively low quantities of the raw ingredient and it is because of this that beauty companies are also required to commit to an ongoing partnership with the farmers to ensure that they (the farmer) get more value from the supply chain. This additional commitment to farmers, who produce ingredients such as Shea butter and olive oil, ensures that they are able to continue farmering and providing a livelihood for themselves and their workers.
Any company can apply for Fairtrade certification of its products as long as the products comply with the internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. It is the individual products that are certified and not the company themselves and this is the case regardless of the manner in which they themselves conduct their business practices.
To find out more about fairly traded products, their producers and the investment that goes into local communities or to add your support, go to the Fairtrade Foundation website.
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