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Just like the word 'organic, some people remain aloof when it comes to products marked 'fair trade' because of the usual assumption that such products carry an additional cost. But what exactly comprises fair trade, and what is the philosophy behind it?
Fair trade is essentially a social movement which espouses the need to empower the producers and exporters or the sources of goods with such products usually coming from the developing countries. Other keywords in the fair trade movement include sustainability, ethical production as well as social and environmental responsibility.
Certifying bodies include Fairtrade International, Institute for Marketecology (IMO), Fairtrade Foundation and Eco-Social.
In the UAE, you can purchase fair trade products like sugar, chocolate, toiletries, coffee and even clothing. Stores that feature fair trade items include The Little Fair Trade Shop, The Body Shop, Marks & Spencer, L’Occitane and the Raw Coffee Company.
The Little Fair Trade Shop sells fair trade items such as clothes, accessories, toys, bags and more. The Body Shop is one of the first few cosmetic brands that participated in the Ethical Trading Initiative, with 80% of their more-than-1,200 products formulated with at least one Community Fair Trade ingredient. Marks & Spencer uses fair trade cotton in specific clothing lines and sells some fair trade food items. L’Occitane is a well-known international retailer featuring a fair trade shea butter range of beauty products. Raw Coffee Company only uses organically cultivated, fair trade certified, ethnically traded coffee in all its brews.
• Fair trade promotes producers from developing areas.
• Certifying bodies include Fairtrade Foundation, IMO.
• Fair trade certified coffee available at Raw Coffee.
Source: Special to Classifieds