This month, we celebrate World Fair Trade Day. It’s a day worthy of recognition and one that celebrates a key component of our Aloha: putting people and the planet first. Just like you pay attention to the ingredients you put into your body, we pay attention to the ingredients we put into our products. Specifically, Fairtrade focuses on production practices that support businesses, society and the environment as a whole.
We often think about the foods we purchase in terms of taste, cost and nutritional value. What we don’t think about as often is the longer-term impacts that purchase may have on the production system.
Let’s break this Fairtrade thing down a bit more. Take a Fairtrade coffee bean farmer for example. That farmer is part of a co-op of farmers who together will receive a Fairtrade premium. This premium is money they can allocate how they choose, like investing in new farm equipment or building a local hospital. Essentially, it is putting more money into the hands of the farmers and workers while protecting their livelihoods, ensuring decent working conditions, and banning discrimination, forced labor and child labor. Along with the commitment to workers, Fairtrade also embraces low-carbon production and a commitment to a net-zero carbon footprint.
But what does Fairtrade have to do with protein shakes, bars and powders? A lot. The coconut cream we use in our Coconut Protein Drink is a perfect example. We choose to source our coconut milk from a small farm in the Philippines that grows coconuts via organic practices while ensuring the best interest of its workers. By doing so, we are supporting these small, often family-run farms, and providing them with opportunities to better their lives while bettering the planet through sustainable practices.
According to the Fairtrade International website, to display the Fairtrade seal requires specific standards be met in the categories of economic, social and environmental. Specifically, the focus is on practices that include safe working conditions, environmental protection, sustainable livelihoods and community development funds. It’s not just about selling a product and making a profit, it’s about giving back, providing for future generations, and protecting the rights and well-being of workers and the environment. That’s definitely something we can get behind.
The next time you are browsing the aisles at your local supermarket, take a moment to see if you can identify any Fairtrade products. The symbol may be small but the impact is big.