Each one of you may have asked already where certain products come from: A banana you take to school, the exotic colourful mask from Uncle Peter’s last trip, or the chocolate milk you drink. Mostly they are from the other side of the planet earth. And here we have our topic for this week: I would like to tell you about places far, far away. Warm places that consist of palm trees, deserts, jungles, and beaches as far as the eye can see! As wild and savage as they might seem to us, there are people like you and your friends working and living there with their families. Instead of wheat, corn, and strawberries they harvest cocoa, coffee, bananas and many other products that need a warm climate to grow.
While the “Western world” developed into an industrial area quite some time ago, it is a different picture in these countries. In other words, farmers and helpers have to work hard with their bare hands to till a field. As an addition, many of them are poor and are reliant on fair traders and intermediates to give low rates. Therefore it is important to support these people!!! It is crucial for the people to be able to live off of what they earn and support their families. Fair Trade is a way to fight poverty in these areas. In many places, farmers depend on the good will of others and do not earn what they deserve. With the help of organisations serving as intermediates and traders it is ensured that farmers receive their fair share of the revenue. Furthermore the sales income is used to extend the water supply and other structures, as well as enable children to have a better education.
Who helps the farmers?
I would like to introduce Fair Trade organisations to you: One is the “Fair Trade Labelling Organisation International” and is coordinating Fair Trade actions all over the world. Additionally they make Fair Trade products visible by labeling them with the Fair Trade Mark. You can find these Fair Trade Marks on products that are sold in your supermarkets. Often you can also find supermarkets that only sell Fair Trade products. Go and ask your parents to make a difference! Go and support the Fair Trade organisations.
What can we do?
You, dear Pandas, can do a lot. Firstly you should pay attention to where a product comes from that you and your family buy. Make sure it is Fair Trade! The Fair Trade Mark is a great indicator to be sure. Furthermore, the internet is another great source where you can read further about this topic. Here is a section from Transfair.org on what you can do in the classroom. Go and ask your parents to find out more about Fair Trade. It is an investment for the future.
Last but not least, here is an informative video for you, your friends, your family and whoever you want to share it with:
Love & Peace,