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Fair Trade Means Decent Wages Too

posted 7 Dec 2010, 03:03 by Mpelembe   [ updated 7 Dec 2010, 03:04 ]

It is becoming more popular of late but fair trade products
have been with us for some time.  Eco-friendly products
encompass all the goods that are either recycled or made by
artisans in poor countries that get a return on the effort
that they make to produce goods that would otherwise be sold
in the local market bringing in just a tiny amount of money.
Indeed, it is often only enough to feed these families on a
hand to mouth basis.

Good companies from around the world buy up these goods
after putting in some effort to employ local women or youth
and sell them outside the country of origin.  Of course, the
western world can afford to pay higher prices for these goods
and will often do this so that they know that they are
helping those people in poor countries at the same time.

These goods can cover just about anything from paper goods
like leather-bound diaries, all made from either recycled or
sustainable resources, to sandals made from worn out tires.
After adding some decoration they are surely up to western
standards and have become popular choices as gifts for
special occasions etc.

Women and children benefit very much from this kind of
entrepreneurship since they are often overlooked when there
are jobs to be had.  Unfortunately, these third world
countries are still very much male dominated areas which put
women in second place when there are jobs available.  Since
it is often left to women to bring up the kids too, this can
cause extreme hardship for those who are left literally
holding the baby.

The world is a much 'greener' place too since the onset of
the recycling phenomena which really picked up several years
ago.  People are far more likely to look on the wrapping
these days to see where goods were made and many top fashion
stores have been boycotted when people found out that child
labor was being used to produce high- priced goods.  Of
course, the kids only got paid subsistence wages and,
instead of going to school, they were exploited by companies
who really did not care where their goods were coming from.

Though this is slowly dying out, the need to watch carefully
where we put our money and which company we buy from is still
not in full flood and everyone should be aware that cheap
pair of jeans or handbag may have been made by a six or
seven year-old child in some far-flung place.  Add to this
the cruelty of working in slave like conditions and the
whole picture will become more evident.

By looking for companies who display the right logo, people
can be assured that they are buying goods from companies who
have foreign communities at heart and who provide some good
facilities for the community in that particular country.
Just this small adjustment in spending will surely put some
kids through school and will allow some mothers the chance
to enjoy their children without having to work every hour in
the day just to eat a meal.

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For more information on fair trade products go to .