Making choices that help shrink our environmental footprint is becoming easier than ever. As consumers, we have the opportunity to vote with our dollar every time that we make a purchase. Now more than ever, people are looking for their values to be reflected in their shopping carts.
As someone who promotes sustainability through my online platforms, as well as through my festivals and events (Vegan Social Events), I am passionate about inspiring others to make more earth-friendly choices. I have noticed that the demand for and availability of sustainable products have been on the rise. People are shopping with the environment in mind, and this isn’t going unnoticed by producers and manufacturers.
Shopping local and buying from smaller businesses has also become top of mind lately for many Canadians, especially during the current pandemic. While it is fantastic to support small and independent businesses, it’s important to consider where the raw materials and ingredients used in local production originate from, how they were produced and by whom. Ingredients like tea, coffee, sugar, bananas, and cocoa simply cannot be produced in our climate, and so we depend on global supply chains. This reliance on foreign supply chains brings significant concerns about producers, resource preservation, and the protection of natural habitats to the forefront.
The good news is that Fairtrade certification takes some of the guesswork out of navigating the often confusing space of sustainability. For local companies, this certification indicates that they can trust the source of their ingredients and supplies.
Fairtrade enables producers to meet their needs today without compromising the environment of tomorrow
Fairtrade certification is an assurance that the producers receive better prices, decent working conditions, and fair terms of trade. Fairtrade supports the development of thriving farmer and worker communities, who are amongst the most marginalized groups globally.
When it comes to sustainability, Fairtrade Standards cover the following three key areas:
These Standards work together to build strong economies, healthy and just societies, and ensure that we are living within the limits of what our environment can sustain. The Standards recognize the interconnectedness of people and the environment - it all works together!
Fairtrade farmers and workers are less vulnerable to price volatility, meaning that their risk is reduced and that they will thereby experience improved income and food security. Fairtrade farmers and workers are provided tools and education surrounding how to look after and adapt to the changing environment. This empowers farmers and workers when faced with economic, environmental, and social challenges.
With the opportunity to earn more from what they produce, Fairtrade farmers are also able to invest in better farming practices. Fairtrade farmers protect the environment through reforestation projects, prohibiting harmful agrochemicals, wildlife conservation projects, switching to green energy fuels, and reducing water usage. They also protect biodiversity by restoring habitats and diversifying crops, establishing composting initiatives, and encouraging organic production.
By choosing products made with Fairtrade ingredients locally, we’re supporting the protection of people and the environment globally - something that we can all get behind!
About the Author
Avra Epstein is a Toronto-based lawyer and lifestyle content creator who is passionate about promoting sustainability and veganism. Avra promotes a low-waste, vegan lifestyle through her online platforms and events. As the creator of Vegan Social Events, Avra produces accessible community events with an aim to inspire others to make more sustainable choices for a smaller footprint. Vegan Social Events showcase products that are eco-friendly, free from animal products, and feature inspiring guest speakers.
Connect with Avra on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow Vegan Social Events on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.