Fair Trade, an international movement to promote equitable trade, has four key goals:
1) To pay farmers a decent, living wage
2) To create direct trade links to farmers, bypassing exploitative middlemen
3) To provide access to affordable credit
4) To promote sustainable practices, such as organic farming that help protect the environment.
It works simply. Tea producers meet specific criteria to be considered a Fair Trade co-operative or estate. Importers/Buyers pay a certain premium over the market value which is then channeled back to the workers of the co-operative/estate. A Joint Body of workers decides how to spend the funds. This means that every time you purchase a Fair Trade tea, a portion of that price goes back directly to the workers of that tea estate.
Some of the specific standards that Tea producers must meet are:
- Wages that meet or exceed legally established minimums
- Absence of forced or child labor
- Freedom of association and organization
- Safe working conditions, including protection from exposure to harmful agrochemicals
- Adherence to national and international labor protections, including those established by the ILO of the United Nations and, in India, the Plantation labor Act.
Tea workers have the capacity to play an active role in improving their own lives. Here are some ways in which workers have chosen to use the Fair Trade Premium:
- At Makaibari, a Computer Centre has been established and over 300 micro-loans have been given to meet medical and educational needs, to buy livestock and to create small businesses.
- At Korakundah, typhoid and hepatitis B vaccines have been procured, chairs purchased for the community hall, cooking gas bought for workers and computers bought for the school.
- At Rembeng, specialized equipment has been purchased for hospitals and increased availability of potable water provided to large areas of the estate.
Enjoy our Fair Trade teas and tell your friends. Champion the cause of Fair Trade!
All our Fair Trade teas are clearly identified. Look for the Fair Trade icon throughout our site to view our Fair Trade Teas.
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